Published online by Cambridge University Press: 22 March 2021
This paper describes a computational investigation of multimode instability growth and multimaterial mixing induced by multiple shock waves in a high-energy-density (HED) environment, where pressures exceed 1 Mbar. The simulations are based on a series of experiments performed at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) and designed as an HED analogue of non-HED shock-tube studies of the Richtmyer–Meshkov instability and turbulent mixing. A three-dimensional computational modelling framework is presented. It treats many complications absent from canonical non-HED shock-tube flows, including distinct ion and free-electron internal energies, non-ideal equations of state, radiation transport and plasma-state mass diffusivities, viscosities and thermal conductivities. The simulations are tuned to the available NIF data, and traditional statistical quantities of turbulence are analysed. Integrated measures of turbulent kinetic energy and enstrophy both increase by over an order of magnitude due to reshock. Large contributions to enstrophy production during reshock are seen from both the baroclinic source and enstrophy–dilatation terms, highlighting the significance of fluid compressibility in the HED regime. Dimensional analysis reveals that Reynolds numbers and diffusive Péclet numbers in the HED flow are similar to those in a canonical non-HED analogue, but conductive Péclet numbers are much smaller in the HED flow due to efficient thermal conduction by free electrons. It is shown that the mechanism of electron thermal conduction significantly softens local spanwise gradients of both temperature and density, which causes a minor but non-negligible decrease in enstrophy production and small-scale mixing relative to a flow without this mechanism.