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LULI2000 - Supernovae and Star Formation: from the cosmos to the laboratory (P. Mabey)

Shock waves are a common feature of the interstellar medium (ISM), and are generated by a diverse range of astrophysical processes such as jets, supernovae, winds, and cloud–cloud collisions. They bring energy back into the ISM, generate turbulence, and are important for its structure and evolution. As the ISM itself is generally inhomogeneous, the interaction between blast waves and clouds and clumps should be a common event. Indeed, compression of interstellar clouds is believed to be an important triggering mechanism for star formation. Although much work has been done in this domain, the issue of the role of magnetic fields is still poorly understood, with only very few numerical studies having been carried out. In this proposal, we will study the processes involved in this astrophysics system by generating a strong blast wave in the laboratory and measure all possible variables involved in its progression and, secondly, with its interaction with a spherical object. By applying a constant 15 T magnetic field to the experimental system, we will be able to isolate the role played by the magnetic field and determine its influence in the physics of star creation. In order to generate the blast wave in the laboratory the two beams of LULI2000 will be focused on a square‐faced carbon rod, situated in a gas‐filled chamber. An obstacle, simulating the astrophysical cloud, will be placed several mm away from the target; its collapse being imaged using time‐resolved x‐ray radiography.

 

LULI2000 - S25-S26/2019