Journal article Open Access

Experimental astrophysics with high power lasers andZpinches

Remington, Bruce A.; Drake, R. Paul; Ryutov, Dmitri D.

With the advent of high-energy-density HED experimental facilities, such as high-energy lasers and fast Z-pinch, pulsed-power facilities, millimeter-scale quantities of matter can be placed in extreme states of density, temperature, and/or velocity. This has enabled the emergence of a new class of experimental science, HED laboratory astrophysics, wherein the properties of matter and the processes that occur under extreme astrophysical conditions can be examined in the laboratory. Areas particularly suitable to this class of experimental astrophysics include the study of opacities relevant to stellar interiors, equations of state relevant to planetary interiors, strong shock-driven nonlinear hydrodynamics and radiative dynamics relevant to supernova explosions and subsequent evolution, protostellar jets and high Mach number flows, radiatively driven molecular clouds and nonlinear photoevaporation front dynamics, and photoionized plasmas relevant to accretion disks around compact objects such as black holes and neutron stars.
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