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 (www.llnl.gov) 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!
Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy
24.03.2017 | University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core
24.03.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy