In studying complex astrophysical phenomena such as supernovae, one does not have the luxury of setting up clean, well-controlled experiments in the universe to test the physics of current models and theories. Consequently, creating a surrogate environment to serve as an experimental astrophysics testbed would be highly beneficial. The existence of highly sophisticated, modern research lasers, developed largely as a result of the world-wide effort in inertial confinement fusion, opens a new potential for creating just such an experimental testbed utilizing well-controlled, well-diagnosed laser-produced plasmas. Two areas of physics critical to an understanding of supernovae are discussed that are amenable to supporting research on large lasers: (1) compressible nonlinear hydrodynamic mixing and (2) radiative shock hydrodynamics. ©1997 American Institute of Physics.
PACS: 97.60.Bw, 52.50.Jm, 52.70.La, 52.35.Py
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