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  1. Photoionized plasmas are common in astrophysics and cosmology, especially in space near compact objects, and there are effects from photoionization in high-energy-density plasmas due to the large radiation fields present. Photoionized plasmas are an active area of laboratory research and there are currently experiments to study photoionization-supported heat fronts. These photoionization fronts differ from the physics of diffusive radiation waves, commonly called Marshak waves, that are also an active area of research. This work uses a geometric argument to describe the expected evolution of the photoionization front curvature, in a planar geometry. It then compares this curvature to that of a Marshak wave as a method of diagnosing a heat front experiment. It is found that while the curvature of a planar Marshak wave increases in time, it decreases for a photoionization front. A comparison of radiation energy and electron heat fluxes through the container for the heat front propagating medium demonstrates that the geometric argument for the photoionization front curvature is sufficient. This comparison also demonstrates that wall losses are not significant in a photoionization front because the post-front region is very optically thin. A discussion of the implication this work has on material choice in the targets formore »an experiment follows.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2023