Although shock experiments are traditionally performed in large facilities, tabletop experiments that provide convenient high-throughput shock testing have been growing in importance. Here, we describe tabletop experiments using a shock compression microscope that features a pulsed 0-6 km/s laser flyer plate launcher and a photon Doppler velocimeter. We also describe methods to mass-produce flyer plates and targets to achieve high throughput. We explain how to condition a laser beam to launch flyers that provide reproducible short-rise time impacts with minimal tilt, and we present a number of applications including measuring shock propagation in nanoporous media, a simple way to describe shock wave energy absorption, the use of photoemissive probes such as organic dyes or quantum dots to study shocked inhomogeneous media, the development of an apparatus to measure optical absorption in shocked media, methods to study and measure the temperature of shocked energetic materials in the form of plastic-bonded explosives and in a form that allows us to observe hot spots in real time, and studies of the shocked interface between a metal fuel and a ceramic oxidizer. Finally, a brief perspective is presented describing new possibilities for future research of a diverse set of applications including the chemistry of shocked water and biological systems, dense plasmas, and the use of laser-launched flyer plates as surrogates for hypersonic vehicles.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Physics and Astronomy