Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Shocking results from diamond anvil cell experiments

At first, nanoshocks may seem like something to describe the millions of aftershocks of a large earthquake.

But Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory physicists are using an ultra-fast laser-based technique they dubbed "nanoshocks" for something entirely different. In fact, the "nanoshocks" have such a small spatial scale that scientists can use them to study shock behavior in tiny samples such as thin films or other systems with microscopic dimensions (a few tens of micrometers). In particular they have used the technique to shock materials under high static pressure in a diamond anvil cell (DAC).

Using a DAC, which probes the behavior of materials under ultra-high pressures (and which requires small samples), the team statically compressed a sample of argon up to 78,000 atmospheres of pressure and then further shock compressed it up to a total of 280,000 atmospheres. They analyzed the propagating shock waves using an ultra-fast interferometric technique. They achieved combinations of pressures, temperatures and time scales that are otherwise inaccessible.

In some experiments they observed a metastable argon state that may have been superheated -- a state at a pressure and temperature at which argon would normally be liquid but because of the ultra-short time scale does not have enough time to melt.

"It can be used to study fundamental physical and chemical processes as well as improve our understanding of a wide range of real-world problems ranging from detonation phenomena to the interiors of planets," said LLNL physicist Jonathan Crowhurst, a co-author of a paper, which will appear in the July 15 edition of the Journal of Applied Physics.

The time scale is short enough to permit direct comparison with molecular dynamics simulations, which usually run for less than a nanosecond (one billionth of a second).

Shocked behavior in microscopic samples can consist of the behavior of shocked explosives before chemistry begins or the high density, low temperature states of light materials such as those that are found in giant gas planets, according to LLNL lead author Michael Armstrong.

"Essentially, this allows us to examine a very broad range of thermodynamic states, including states corresponding to planetary interiors and high density, low-temperature states that have been predicted to exhibit unobserved exotic behavior," Armstrong said.

For decades, compression experiments have been used to determine the thermodynamic states of materials at high pressures and temperatures. The results are necessary to correctly interpret seismic data, understand planetary composition and the evolution of the early solar system, shock-wave induced chemistry and fundamental issues in condensed matter physics.

Armstrong said their technique for launching and analyzing nanoshocks was so fast they were able to see behavior in microscopic samples that is inaccessible in experiments using static or single-shock wave compression.

Other LLNL team members include Sorin Bastea and Joseph Zaug.

Founded in 1952, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory ( is a national security laboratory that develops science and engineering technology and provides innovative solutions to our nation's most important challenges. Lawrence Liverm LLNL News Release (Nanoshocks) ore National Laboratory is managed by Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration.

Anne Stark | EurekAlert!
Further information:

Further reports about: DAC LLNL Livermore Security Forum chemical process shock wave

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Space observation with radar to secure Germany's space infrastructure
23.03.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Hochfrequenzphysik und Radartechnik FHR

nachricht Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1
21.03.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Hochfrequenzphysik und Radartechnik FHR

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Space observation with radar to secure Germany's space infrastructure

Satellites in near-Earth orbit are at risk due to the steady increase in space debris. But their mission in the areas of telecommunications, navigation or weather forecasts is essential for society. Fraunhofer FHR therefore develops radar-based systems which allow the detection, tracking and cataloging of even the smallest particles of debris. Satellite operators who have access to our data are in a better position to plan evasive maneuvers and prevent destructive collisions. From April, 25-29 2018, Fraunhofer FHR and its partners will exhibit the complementary radar systems TIRA and GESTRA as well as the latest radar techniques for space observation across three stands at the ILA Berlin.

The "traffic situation" in space is very tense: the Earth is currently being orbited not only by countless satellites but also by a large volume of space...

Im Focus: Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein

An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

New solar solutions for sustainable buildings and cities

23.03.2018 | Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Don't Give the Slightest Chance to Toxic Elements in Medicinal Products

23.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Sensitive grip

23.03.2018 | Materials Sciences

No compromises: Combining the benefits of 3D printing and casting

23.03.2018 | Process Engineering

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>