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Collisional shock waves induced by laser radiation pressure

  • Zohar Henis (a1), Shalom Eliezer (a1) (a2) and Erez Raicher (a3)


The formation of a collisional shock wave by the light pressure of a short-laser pulse at intensities in the range of 1018–1023 W/cm2 is considered. In this regime the thermodynamic parameters of the equilibrium states, before and after the shock transition, are related to the relativistic Rankine–Hugoniot equations. The electron and ion temperatures associated with these shock waves are calculated. It is shown that if the time scale of energy dissipation is shorter than the laser pulse duration a collisional shock is formed. The electrons and the ions in the shock-heated layer may have equal or different temperatures, depending on the laser pulse duration, the material density and the laser intensity. This shock wave may serve as a heating mechanism in a fast ignition scheme.


Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: Zohar Henis, Physics Division, Soreq Nuclear Research Center, Yavne, Israel, E-mail:


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Collisional shock waves induced by laser radiation pressure

  • Zohar Henis (a1), Shalom Eliezer (a1) (a2) and Erez Raicher (a3)


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