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Objectives

Objectives

Laboratory astrophysics deals with a global approach which makes the bridge between experiments, simulations theories and observations in order to study the physics of astrophysical flows.

In this context we are mainly interested in the study of hypersonic jets and shocks which are present in different stages of the stellar evolution and which are caracterized by a complex physics where hydrodynamics motions are strongly affected by surrounding magnetic fields or radiation effects.

Figure 1: HST image of a star forming region with the presence of typical jets emerging at the border of the dense cloud (Credit ESA)
HST


Studying in laboratory such high energetic hydrodynamic flows requires together high energy installations and scaling. This becomes now accessible through the improvments of accessible facilities like high energy lasers or Z pinches. The aim of our research concerns thus the developpment of new experiments in particular with lasers ( like LULI laser at Palaiseau France or PALS laser in Prague or in a next future, ALISE and LIL/LMJ laser in Bordeaux). Experiments are also performed by our colleagues on MAGPIE pinch installation in London.

Our methodology combines thus the different complementary aspects : experimental, numerical and astrophysical studies

The method consists to scale down astrophysical flows (or subsystems of them) to laboratory or alternatively to study physical processes which are important in them. Astrophysical and laboratory mutidimensional simulations are used to analyse experimental data and to make the bridge between experimental and astrophysical flows. This requires state of art numerical codes. for instance MHD code GORGON is developped in our group inside a wider collaboration. We use also other codes which are developed by our colleagues, like hydro radiative code HERACLES developed at CEA SAp. Synthetic imaging allows to interpret experimental data or astrophysical flows. This requires state of art radiation transfert post processing.

The topics requires also good quality atomic data to be used in hydrodynamical and radiative transfert codes. These ones are selected either through existing tabulations or using our own codes, like OPACS, which we have developed and use the hydrogenic model or the more sophisticated suite of codes HULLAC, which is developped in our group inside an international collaboration.

Experiments campaigns are conducted on large scale laser installations with our collaborators. They require the production of millimetric scale targets, which are realized at GEPI, Observatoire de Paris.

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