Sanmartín Losada, Juan Ramón and Barrero, A.
Self-similar motion of laser half-space plasmas. I. Deflagration regime.
"The Physics of Fluids", v. 21
The one-dimensional self-similar motion of an initially cold, half-space plasma of electron density 0,produced by the (anomalous) absorption of a laser pulse of irradiation <j> = (j>0f/T(0< (< T) at the critical density nc(«c/«0=e<l), is considered. The analysis allows for electron heat conduction and ion-electron energy exchange and retains three dimensionless numbers: e, Zt (ion charge number), and a = (9/c/4m,) (T/C 2n l/4>oKe)213, where k, m, are Boltzmann's constant and the ion mass, and Ke X (electron temperature)5'2 = heat conductivity. If a >e- 4 ' 3 , a deflagration wave separates an isentropic compression
with a shock bounding the undisturbed plasma, and an isentropic expansion flow to the vacuum. The structures of these three regions are completely determined; in particular, the Chapman-Jouguet condition is proved and the density behind the deflagration is found. The deflagration-compression thickness ratio is large (small) for a^e- 5 ' 3(a>e- 5 ' 3 ) . The compression to expansion ratio for both energy and thickness is 0(e"2). For Z,- large, a deflagration exists even if a~e~413. Condition a>e~4'3 may be applied to pulses that are not linear.