Supernova Hydrodynamics: A Lab-scale Study of the Blast-driven Instability Using High-speed Diagnostics

Benjamin Musci, Samuel Petter, Gokul Pathikonda, Bradley Ochs, Devesh Ranjan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


A novel experimental approach to study the blast-driven instability at a nondiffuse, gaseous interface with a density gradient is presented. Under Euler similarity, this approach enables study of dissipative-scale hydrodynamics relevant to many astrophysical and laboratory high energy density phenomena in a well-resolved manner. The instability is initiated by passing a Taylor-Sedov blast wave originating from a controlled detonation through a perturbed and stably stratified interface between two gases. The facility and driving blast wave are characterized to obtain repeatable conditions and capture large ensembles of time-resolved Mie scattering imaging that show consistent hydrodynamic development. We analyze the instability evolution between different gas pairs to demonstrate the wide range of development and turbulent behavior that may occur between different supernova layers. The mean evolution of the hydrodynamic instability is compared to a buoyancy-drag model that is frequently used to estimate perturbation growth in supernova mixing research. We propose a time delay to this model in order to reproduce the measured instability behavior and demonstrate model robustness in handling flows driven by a time-varying acceleration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number92
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 20 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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