Compressing turbulence and sudden viscous dissipation with compression-dependent ionization state

Seth Davidovits, Nathaniel J. Fisch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Turbulent plasma flow, amplified by rapid three-dimensional compression, can be suddenly dissipated under continuing compression. This effect relies on the sensitivity of the plasma viscosity to the temperature, μ∼T5/2. The plasma viscosity is also sensitive to the plasma ionization state. We show that the sudden dissipation phenomenon may be prevented when the plasma ionization state increases during compression, and we demonstrate the regime of net viscosity dependence on compression where sudden dissipation is guaranteed. Additionally, it is shown that, compared to cases with no ionization, ionization during compression is associated with larger increases in turbulent energy and can make the difference between growing and decreasing turbulent energy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number053206
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 14 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability


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