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There are both similarities and differences between instabilities of planar laminar flame fronts and ablation fronts in inertial-confinement fusion (ICF). The mathematical formulation of the problem in ICF is the same as for flames propagating upward; the differences stem from the different order of magnitude of the Froude number and thermal conductivity variations. When the thermal conductivity varies strongly, as in ICF, a wide range of characteristic diffusive lengths occurs across the wave structure. For disturbances with intermediate wavelengths, there is then a universal diffusive relaxation rate of thermal waves that is independent of the thermal conductivity. A kinematic relation for the ablation front is discussed here that includes this thermal relaxation. The resulting formulation facilitates comparison of the two types of fronts.
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Keywords: ablation fronts; flames; inertial confinement fusion

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Institut de Recherche sur les Phénomènes Hors Equilibre, Universités d'Aix Marseille et CNRS, Marseille, France 2: Commissariat à l'énergie atomique-DAM, Île de France, Bryères le Châtel, France 3: Center for Energy Research, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California, USA

Publication date: May 1, 2005

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