May 23, 2019 | Updated: 11:35 AM EDT

Underwater Exploding Electrical Wires to Understand Shock Waves

May 06, 2019 10:40 AM EDT

Underwater Shock Waves
(Photo : Pixabay)
Exploding electrical wires underwater to understand shock waves
(Photo : Rososhek et al) This is a shadow streak image of the wire explosions overlapped with the deposited power.

Technion Israel Institute of Technology researchers demonstrated the relation between the evolution of a shock wave and the expansion of the exploding wire.

Physicists study shock waves by exploding electrical wires underwater. Shock waves are a sharp change of pressure in a narrow region traveling through a medium, especially air, caused by an explosion or by a body moving faster than sound.

Shock waves simulate " the warm dense matter that is found only in the extreme conditions around stars and created in the laboratory for inertial confinement fusion research," according to Eureka Alert. In addition to this, it has applications in the fields of medicine, industry, and military. One method of verifying the equations to predict shock waves involve exploding an electrical wire underwater.

The researchers discovered that the expansion of the wire determines the decay of shock waves and was able to develop a simplified model in describing this relationship.Their findings were published in the journal Physics of Plasmas.

Their results show that there is a continuous expansion of the wife long after generating the shock wave. This is contrary to previous models that have a faster shock wave. This time, the new model does not produce an instantaneous release of energy and does not assume self-similar motion.

"Surprisingly, and this is the exciting part, the results of this simplified model fit excellently the experimentally obtained results," said Alexander Rososhek, an author of the paper. The experiment showed that the exploding wire that generates the shock wave expands with subsonic velocity.

"This finding, together with one-dimensional hydrodynamic simulations, allowed us to understand in depth the transient process governing shock wave generation," said Rososhek, "and advances our knowledge of shock wave generation as a whole."

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