Laboratory astrophysics and non-ideal equations of state: the next challenges for astrophysical MHD simulations

Carver, R. (Rice), Cunningham, A. (LLNL), Frank, A. (Rochester), Hartigan, P. (Rice), Coker, R. F. (LANL), Wilde, B. H. (LANL), Foster, J. M. (AWE), and Rosen, P. A. (AWE)

Laboratory astrophysics holds great promise not only as a highly effective validation tool for astrophysical magneto-hydrodynamics (MHD) codes but it also presents a unique challenge for these codes. The high-density plasmas found in these experiments are not well modeled by the ideal equations of state (EOS) found in most astrophysical simulation codes. To solve this problem, we replaced the ideal EOS scheme in an existing MHD code, AstroBEAR, with a non-ideal EOS method and validated our implementation with van der Waals shock tube tests. The improved code is also able to model flows that contain more than one material, as required in laboratory experiments. Simulations of jet experiments performed at the OMEGA Laser reproduce the morphology of the jet much better than when the code used a single material and an ideal EOS.

2010, HEDP 6 in press