Accession Number : ADA118074

Title :   A Variational Approach to the Rayleigh-Taylor Instability of an Accelerating Plasma Slab.

Descriptive Note : Master's thesis,

Corporate Author : AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING

Personal Author(s) : Targove,James D

PDF Url : ADA118074

Report Date : Dec 1981

Pagination or Media Count : 81

Abstract : The growth rate of the hydromagnetic Rayleigh-Taylor instability is approximated here for an accelerating plasma slab. The slab is chosen as a large-radius approximation to an imploding cylindrical foil. A normal mode solution of the MHD equations is assumed, resulting in an integral relation for the instability growth rate. The Rayleigh-Ritz variational method is applied to the relation to estimate the growth rate. A linearly decreasing magnetic field is assumed in the slab perpendicular to the acceleration. A corresponding equilibrium mass density profile is then found. Growth rate estimates are then made for these profiles. Calculations are made for perturbation wavevectors perpendicular to the acceleration and at an angle theta to the magnetic field. The growth rates for theta = 90 degrees compare favorably with LeLevier et al's results for a continuous density transition (14). Growth rates for theta = 0 degrees are stable for all perturbation wavelengths and magnetic field strengths. This contradicts prior results in both slab and cylindrical geometry and suggests an error in this work.

Descriptors :   *Implosions, *Nuclear explosion simulation, Magnetohydrodynamics, Plasma sheaths, Equations of motion, Computerized simulation, Theses

Subject Categories : Plasma Physics and Magnetohydrodynamics

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE