Astrophysics and Space Science

, Volume 322, Issue 1–4, pp 141–146 | Cite as

Using the Rayleigh-Taylor instability for in situ measurements of thermal conductivity of warm dense matter

  • D. D. RyutovEmail author
  • B. A. Remington
Original Article


The Rayleigh-Taylor (RT) instability of a material with stratified density, temperature, and composition is considered. The variation of composition gives rise to the appearance of modes whose growth rate is directly related to the finite thermal conductivity. It is suggested that this effect could be used for in situ measurements of thermal conductivity of warm dense matter. Expressions for the RT growth rate for the general equation of state are derived and the modes most suitable for measurements are identified. A desired perturbation can be introduced by machining the package or by using masks during the surface deposition process. To visualize the evolution of the embedded perturbation, higher-Z tracers can be used. A concept for a laser-driven experiment where this approach could be realized is presented.


Warm dense matter Thermal conductivity Equation of state 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lawrence Livermore National LaboratoryLivermoreUSA

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