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Title: When Shock Waves Collide

Abstract

Supersonic outflows from objects as varied as stellar jets, massive stars, and novae often exhibit multiple shock waves that overlap one another. When the intersection angle between two shock waves exceeds a critical value, the system reconfigures its geometry to create a normal shock known as a Mach stem where the shocks meet. Mach stems are important for interpreting emission-line images of shocked gas because a normal shock produces higher postshock temperatures, and therefore a higher-excitation spectrum than does an oblique shock. In this study, we summarize the results of a series of numerical simulations and laboratory experiments designed to quantify how Mach stems behave in supersonic plasmas that are the norm in astrophysical flows. The experiments test analytical predictions for critical angles where Mach stems should form, and quantify how Mach stems grow and decay as intersection angles between the incident shock and a surface change. While small Mach stems are destroyed by surface irregularities and subcritical angles, larger ones persist in these situations and can regrow if the intersection angle changes to become more favorable. Finally, the experimental and numerical results show that although Mach stems occur only over a limited range of intersection angles and size scales,more » within these ranges they are relatively robust, and hence are a viable explanation for variable bright knots observed in Hubble Space Telescope images at the intersections of some bow shocks in stellar jets.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [2];  [3]; ORCiD logo [3];  [4];  [1];  [2];  [4];  [5];  [6];  [2];  [7];  [5]
  1. Rice Univ., Houston, TX (United States). Dept. of Physics and Astronomy
  2. Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE), Berkshire (United Kingdom)
  3. Univ. of Rochester, NY (United States). Dept. of Physics and Astronomy
  4. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  5. General Atomics, San Diego, CA (United States)
  6. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
  7. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); Sandia National Lab. (SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States); Rice Univ., Houston, TX (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Contributing Org.:
Rice Univ., Houston, TX (United States); Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE), Berkshire (United Kingdom); Univ. of Rochester, NY (United States); General Atomics, San Diego, CA (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
1329878
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1289387; OSTI ID: 1462316
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-15-24971; LLNL-JRNL-698500; DOE-Rice-2037-3
Journal ID: ISSN 1538-4357
Grant/Contract Number:  
NA0001944; NA0002037; NA0002722; AC52-07NA27344
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal (Online)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: The Astrophysical Journal (Online); Journal Volume: 823; Journal Issue: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 1538-4357
Publisher:
Institute of Physics (IOP)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS; Herbig–Haro objects; hydrodynamics; jets and outflows; atomic laboratory methods; shock waves; stars; jets; 42 ENGINEERING; Herbig-Haro objects; ISM: jets and outflows; methods: laboratory: atomic; stars: jets; Herbig–Haro objects – hydrodynamics – ISM: jets and outflows – methods: laboratory: atomic – shock waves – stars: jets

Citation Formats

Hartigan, P., Foster, J., Frank, A., Hansen, E., Yirak, K., Liao, A. S., Graham, P., Wilde, Bernhard Heinz, Blue, B., Martinez, D., Rosen, P., Farley, D., and Paguio, R. When Shock Waves Collide. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.3847/0004-637X/823/2/148.
Hartigan, P., Foster, J., Frank, A., Hansen, E., Yirak, K., Liao, A. S., Graham, P., Wilde, Bernhard Heinz, Blue, B., Martinez, D., Rosen, P., Farley, D., & Paguio, R. When Shock Waves Collide. United States. doi:10.3847/0004-637X/823/2/148.
Hartigan, P., Foster, J., Frank, A., Hansen, E., Yirak, K., Liao, A. S., Graham, P., Wilde, Bernhard Heinz, Blue, B., Martinez, D., Rosen, P., Farley, D., and Paguio, R. Wed . "When Shock Waves Collide". United States. doi:10.3847/0004-637X/823/2/148. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1329878.
@article{osti_1329878,
title = {When Shock Waves Collide},
author = {Hartigan, P. and Foster, J. and Frank, A. and Hansen, E. and Yirak, K. and Liao, A. S. and Graham, P. and Wilde, Bernhard Heinz and Blue, B. and Martinez, D. and Rosen, P. and Farley, D. and Paguio, R.},
abstractNote = {Supersonic outflows from objects as varied as stellar jets, massive stars, and novae often exhibit multiple shock waves that overlap one another. When the intersection angle between two shock waves exceeds a critical value, the system reconfigures its geometry to create a normal shock known as a Mach stem where the shocks meet. Mach stems are important for interpreting emission-line images of shocked gas because a normal shock produces higher postshock temperatures, and therefore a higher-excitation spectrum than does an oblique shock. In this study, we summarize the results of a series of numerical simulations and laboratory experiments designed to quantify how Mach stems behave in supersonic plasmas that are the norm in astrophysical flows. The experiments test analytical predictions for critical angles where Mach stems should form, and quantify how Mach stems grow and decay as intersection angles between the incident shock and a surface change. While small Mach stems are destroyed by surface irregularities and subcritical angles, larger ones persist in these situations and can regrow if the intersection angle changes to become more favorable. Finally, the experimental and numerical results show that although Mach stems occur only over a limited range of intersection angles and size scales, within these ranges they are relatively robust, and hence are a viable explanation for variable bright knots observed in Hubble Space Telescope images at the intersections of some bow shocks in stellar jets.},
doi = {10.3847/0004-637X/823/2/148},
journal = {The Astrophysical Journal (Online)},
number = 2,
volume = 823,
place = {United States},
year = {2016},
month = {6}
}

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