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Phys Rev Lett. 2011 May 27;106(21):214503. Epub 2011 May 24.

Direct visualization of laser-driven focusing shock waves.

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Laboratoire de Physique de l'Etat Condensé, UMR CNRS 6087, Université du Maine, 72085 Le Mans, France.


Direct real-time visualization and measurement of laser-driven shock generation, propagation, and 2D focusing in a sample are demonstrated. A substantial increase of the pressure at the convergence of the cylindrical acoustic shock front is observed experimentally and simulated numerically. Single-shot acquisitions using a streak camera reveal that at the convergence of the shock wave in water the supersonic speed reaches Mach 6, corresponding to the multiple gigapascal pressure range ∼30 GPa.

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