HIGH EXPLOSIVE LIGHT SOURCES AS POSSIBLE LASER PUMPS
EXPLOSIVES RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT ESTABLISHMENT WALTHAM ABBEY (UNITED KINGDOM)
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The visible radiation from a thermally ionized high density plasma produced by explosively generated shock waves was investigated as a possible laser pumping source. It is considered that the major problem is the efficiency of conversion from chemical energy to radiation in the absorption band of the laser. The study has therefore been concentrated on the mechanism of the emissive process with a view to increasing the radiation emitted in a given spectral region. The real gas thermodynamic variables behind the shock waves have been evaluated for argon and helium and used to calculate linear absorption coefficients based on Unsold-Kramers theory. Using Kirchoffs law, the radiant intensities at the surfaces of optically thick argon and helium plasmas at 20, 000K have been calculated and compared with observed values in the visible spectral region. The effects of various parameters such as gas composition, pressure and shock velocity on the spectral radiance have been studied experimentally. It is concluded that the radiation from explosively shocked noble gases is essentially black body in nature.
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