Observation of self-similar behavior of the 3D, nonlinear Rayleigh-Taylor instability

O. Sadot, V. A. Smalyuk, J. A. Delettrez, D. D. Meyerhofer, T. C. Sangster, R. Betti, V. N. Goncharov, D. Shvarts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


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 σrms grows as ασgt2, where g is the foil acceleration, t is the time, and ασ is constant. The number of bubbles evolves as N(t)( tg+C)-4 and the average size evolves as λ(t) 2gt2, where C is a constant and I=0.83±0.1 is the measured scaled bubble-merging rate.

Original languageEnglish
Article number265001
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number26
StatePublished - 31 Dec 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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