Supersonic-subsonic transition region in radiative heat flow via self-similar solutions

Elad Malka*, Shay I. Heizler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


We study the radiative hydrodynamics flow of radiation-driven heat waves in hot dense plasmas, using approximate self-similar solutions. Specifically, we have focused on the intermediate regime between the pure radiative supersonic flow and the pure subsonic regime. These two regimes were investigated using both exact self-similar solutions and numerical simulations; however, most of the study used numerical simulations, mainly because the radiative heat wave and the shock regions are not self-similar altogether. In a milestone work [Garnier et al., "Self-similar solutions for a nonlinear radiation diffusion equation,"Phys. Plasmas 13, 092703 (2006)], it was found that for a specific power law dependency temperature profile, a unique exact self-similar solution exists that is valid for all physical regimes. In this work, we approximate Garnier's exact solution for a general power-law temperature-dependency, using simple analytical considerations. This approximate solution yields a good agreement compared to numerical simulations for the different thermodynamic profiles within the expected range of validity. In addition, we offer an approximate solution for the energies absorbed in the matter, again, for a general power-law temperature profile. Our approximate self-similar solution for the energy yields very good results compared to exact numerical simulations for both gold and Ta 2 O 5. We also set a comparison of our self-similar solutions with the results of an experiment for radiation temperature measurement in a Hohlraum in low-density foams that is addressed directly to the intermediate regime, yielding a good agreement and similar trends. The different models as well as the numerical simulations are powerful tools to analyze the supersonic-subsonic transition region.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number066105
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes

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