Laboratory astrophysics: Radiative shock waves in gas jet targets.
In case of a high-density gas jet contains a large
fraction of clusters, it will strongly absorb the ultrashort laser pulse,
and it emits strong x-ray radiation. A strong shock wave is generated in
the gas. The dominant cooling mechanism of shock waves is - in most cases
- collisons. However in the case of a medium of clusters radiative cooling
might become of importance as well. In this case one can speak about radiative
shock waves, a type of shock-wave which occurs normally in supernova explosions.
Thus studying radiative shock waves in gas jet plasmas can be a tool for
modelling such astrophysical processes which can generally be observed in
supernova remnants only.