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Washington State University Institute for Shock Physics

Understanding Materials at Extreme Conditions

The Institute for Shock Physics (ISP) is a multi-disciplinary research organization with an emphasis on understanding condensed matter response at extreme conditions.  The research activities, supported by the DOE/NNSA and other federal agencies, involve examining and understanding physical and chemical changes in solids and liquids under very rapid and large compressions.

Washington State University is a leader in shock wave and high pressure research.  Using state-of-the-art experimental and computational capabilities, world-class faculty at the Institute for Shock Physics conduct interdisciplinary research spanning the fields of physics, chemistry, materials science, solid mechanics, planetary sciences, and applied mathematics.  Graduate students and faculty from various academic departments participate in the research activities.

The Institute emphasizes partnerships involving students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty members from other academic institutions, and researchers from national laboratories to address scientific challenges in a comprehensive manner.

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Dynamic Compression Research

Dynamic compression experiments subject materials to unique conditions (very large compressions, high temperatures, and large deformations) on very short time scales resulting in a rich array of physical and chemical changes.

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Dynamic Compression Sector at APS

Washington State University (WSU) is leading the effort to develop and build the Dynamic Compression Sector (DCS) infrastructure and instrumentation at the APS.  The DOE/NNSA is sponsoring the development of this first-of-a-kind user facility, which offers an opportunity to pursue fundamental science that has not been possible at any synchrotron radiation facility in the past.

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Graduate Studies at ISP

ISP Graduate Students benefit from hands-on research opportunities in a multidisciplinary and exciting field.  Washington State University graduates who have completed their research in ISP have moved on to successful professional careers.

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News and Events

Sandia National Laboratories physicist Marcus Knudson is the first joint faculty appointee to serve both Sandia and Washington State University. Using Sandia’s unique Z machine, he will enhance fundamental research into the compression of materials under extreme conditions.

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Facilities and Equipment

The Institute for Shock Physics’ state-of-the-art research facilities provide an ideal environment for examining materials under extreme conditions.

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Dynamic Compression Summer School (August 6 – 10, 2017)

The Dynamic Compression Summer School has been established to provide an overview of dynamic compression science appropriate for upper-level undergraduates and first-year graduate students. The four-days of lectures, discussion, and a tour will introduce students to the scientific fundamentals, broad scientific applications, and career opportunities within this vital, diverse and challenging field.

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