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Ultrafast Characterization for the Dynamically Compressed Materials

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Experiment diagram

A shockwave is the fastest mechanical loading we can achieve and provides a nearly instantaneous change in thermodynamic conditions. The unshocked and shock-compressed materials are assumed to be in equilibrium via application of the Rankine-Hugoniot relations. However, at the shock-front itself, the interface between shocked and unshocked, the material is always far from equilibrium, at a maximum entropy condition. Our current approach uses a pump-probe technique to reach extreme pressures and temperatures and observe material response at this far from equilibrium state. Multiphase physics problems require the ability to effectively capture dynamic processes on the relevant nanometer spatial scale and ultrafast timescale – which in turn provide critical input for validating models. The MEC hutch at the LCLS, SLAC enables the combination of a dynamic driver pump and xFEL probes to address these outstanding challenges.