Oblique shock breakout from a uniform density medium

Itai Linial, Re'Em Sari

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8 Scopus citations


The emergence of a shock from a medium with a free surface is an important process in various astrophysical phenomena. It generates the first light associated with explosions such as supernovae and gamma ray bursts. Most previous works considered planar or spherical geometries, where the shock front is parallel to the surface and emerges simultaneously from all points. Here, we study the hydrodynamics of an oblique planar shock breaking out from the planar surface of a uniform density ideal gas with adiabatic index γ. We obtain an analytic solution to the flow as a function of the angle between the plane of the shock and the surface β. We find steady state solutions (in a frame moving with the intersection point of the shock and the surface) up to some critical angle (βmax = 63.4° for γ = 5/3 and βmax = 69.3° for γ = 4/3). We show how this analytic solution can be used in more complicated geometries where the shock is not planar, giving the exact profile of the outermost breakout ejecta. We apply our analytical results to a few realistic problems, such as underwater explosions, detonation under the surface of an asteroid, or off center detonations in a uniform sphere.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number097102
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number9
StatePublished - 11 Sep 2019

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