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  • 1.
    Ahmed, Hamad
    et al.
    Centre for Plasma Physics, Queen’s University of Belfast, Belfast BT7 1NN, UK.
    Doria, Domenico
    Centre for Plasma Physics, Queen’s University of Belfast, Belfast BT7 1NN, UK.
    Dieckmann, Mark Eric
    Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology, Media and Information Technology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Sarri, Gianluca
    Centre for Plasma Physics, Queen’s University of Belfast, Belfast BT7 1NN, UK.
    Romagnani, Lorenzo
    LULI, École Polytechnique, CNRS, CEA, UPMC, Palaiseau, France.
    Bret, Antoine
    ETSI Industriales, Universidad Castilla La Mancha, E-13 071 Ciudad Real, Spain.
    Cerchez, M
    Institute for Laser and Plasma Physics, University of Düsseldorf, Germany.
    Giesecke, AL
    Institute for Laser and Plasma Physics, University of Düsseldorf, Germany.
    Ianni, E
    Centre for Plasma Physics, Queen’s University of Belfast, Belfast BT7 1NN, UK.
    Kar, Satya
    Centre for Plasma Physics, Queen’s University of Belfast, Belfast BT7 1NN, UK.
    Notley, Margaret
    Central Laser Facility, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Chilton, Oxfordshire OX11 0QX, UK.
    Prasad, R
    Centre for Plasma Physics, Queen’s University of Belfast, Belfast BT7 1NN, UK.
    Quinn, Kevin
    Centre for Plasma Physics, Queen’s University of Belfast, Belfast BT7 1NN, UK.
    Willi, Oswald
    Institute for Laser and Plasma Physics, University of Düsseldorf, Germany.
    Borghesi, Marco
    Centre for Plasma Physics, Queen’s University of Belfast, Belfast BT7 1NN, UK.
    Experimental Observation of Thin-shell Instability in a Collisionless Plasma2017In: Astrophysical Journal Letters, ISSN 2041-8205, E-ISSN 2041-8213, Vol. 834, no 2, article id L21Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We report on the experimental observation of the instability of a plasma shell, which formed during the expansion of a laser-ablated plasma into a rarefied ambient medium. By means of a proton radiography technique, the evolution of the instability is temporally and spatially resolved on a timescale much shorter than the hydrodynamic one. The density of the thin shell exceeds that of the surrounding plasma, which lets electrons diffuse outward. An ambipolar electric field grows on both sides of the thin shell that is antiparallel to the density gradient. Ripples in the thin shell result in a spatially varying balance between the thermal pressure force mediated by this field and the ram pressure force that is exerted on it by the inflowing plasma. This mismatch amplifies the ripples by the same mechanism that drives the hydrodynamic nonlinear thin-shell instability (NTSI). Our results thus constitute the first experimental verification that the NTSI can develop in colliding flows.

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