Feasibility study of the standing accretion shock instability experiment at the National Ignition Facility

Timothy Handy, Tomasz Plewa, Bruce A. Remington, R. Paul Drake, Carolyn C. Kuranz, Naofumi Ohnishi, Hideaki Takabe

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1 Citation (Scopus)


The primary hydrodynamic flow feature of early explosion phases of a core-collapse supernova is a spherical shock. This shock is born deep in the central regions of the collapsing stellar core, stalls shortly afterward, and in case of a successful explosion is revived and becomes the supernova shock. The revival process involves a standing accretion shock instability, SASI. This shock instability is considered the key processes aiding the core-collapse supernova (ccSN) explosion.The aim of our study is to identify feasible conditions and parameters for an experimental system that is able to capture the essential characteristics of SASI. We use semi-analytic methods and high-resolution hydrodynamic simulations in multidimensions to investigate a possible experimental design on the National Ignition Facility. The experimental configuration involves a steady, spherical shock. We explore a viable region of parameters and obtain limits on the shocked flow geometry. We study the stability properties of the shock and its post-shock region.We compare properties of the experimental design and the ccSN environment. The obtained model experimental flow field closely resembles converging nozzle flow. The post-shock region, in contrast to the supernova setting, is found to be stably stratified and stable against to perturbations upstream of the shock. We conclude that it is not possible to capture the characteristics of the ccSN SASI for the converging shocked flow configuration considered here. However, such configuration offers a very stable setting for precision studies of dense, high-temperature plasmas requiring finely-controlled conditions and long lifetimes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-340
Number of pages10
JournalHigh Energy Density Physics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Hydrodynamics
  • Laboratory astrophysics
  • Shockwaves
  • Supernovae


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