Supernova in a bottle : experimental study of magnetic and radiative effects on scaled supernova remnant shocks


Radiative shocks and blast waves are important in many astrophysical contexts, such as supernova remnant formation, cosmic ray production, and gamma ray bursts. Structure formation on radiative blast wave fronts in late-stage supernova remnants is expected to play a role in star formation via seeding of the Jeans instability. The origin of these structures is believed to be an instability described theoretically by Vishniac (ApJ 274, 152 (1983)), which has been subject to continued numerical and experimental investigation. Several laboratory experiments have been performed to study the stability of radiative blast waves in late-stage supernova remnants (PRL 66, 2738 (1991); PRL 87, 085004, (2001); PRL 95, 244503 (2005)), but have been limited by the lack of a realistic magnetic field within which the blast wave evolves. Magnetic fields play a significant role in the dynamics of astrophysical objects on multiple scales, such as shock collisionality, magnetic turbulence, and large-scale structure formation, but experimental efforts to investigate these effects on blast wave structure have been sparse. This work extends previous work in this area to cover the evolution of radiative blast waves in a dynamically significant magnetic field.



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