Ultrafast spectroscopy of shock waves in molecular materials

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent progress in combining the techniques of time-resolved molecular spectroscopy with shock compression science is reviewed. Shock wave spectroscopy probes the response of molecules to high-speed, large-amplitude mechanical transients and is an important way of studying physical chemical phenomena that involve large-amplitude displacements. A brief discussion of the continuum model for shock compression and a molecular model for the shock front is presented. Methods for generating and detecting shock effects are reviewed. Several applications of shock spectroscopy are reviewed, including high explosives, the nanoshock technique that uses ultrafast lasers, and shock compression of biological molecules.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-278
Number of pages28
JournalAnnual Review of Physical Chemistry
StatePublished - 1999


  • Molecular dynamics
  • Shock waves
  • Time-resolved spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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