Observation of self-similar behavior of the 3D, nonlinear Rayleigh-Taylor instability Academic Article uri icon


  • The Rayleigh-Taylor unstable growth of laser-seeded, 3D broadband perturbations was experimentally measured in the laser-accelerated, planar plastic foils. The first experimental observation showing the self-similar behavior of the bubble size and amplitude distributions under ablative conditions is presented. In the nonlinear regime, the modulation {sigma}{sub rms} grows as {alpha}{sub {sigma}}gt{sup 2}, where g is the foil acceleration, t is the time, and {alpha}{sub {sigma}} is constant. The number of bubbles evolves as N(t){proportional_to}({omega}t{radical}(g)+C){sup -4} and the average size evolves as (t){proportional_to}{omega}{sup 2}gt{sup 2}, where C is a constant and {omega}=0.83{+-}0.1 is the measured scaled bubble-merging rate.

publication date

  • January 1, 2005