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Washington State University Institute for Shock Physics


Paulo Rigg

Staff Scientist and Dynamic Compression Sector (DCS) Manager

(630) 252-0462

Scientific Interests and Work:

Understanding the dynamic response of materials under extreme conditions of stress and strain using advanced diagnostic capabilities.

Dr. Rigg’s scientific interests primarily focus on the understanding of the mechanisms responsible for phenomena such as phase transitions, elastic-plastic deformation, and failure of materials under dynamic loading and unloading conditions.  Work in these areas has utilized numerous shock- and ramp-compression platforms and diagnostics tools.  These interests tie perfectly into his current role in the Dynamic Compression Sector at the Advanced Photon Source (DCS@APS) where he will use X-rays to directly probe solids subjected to dynamic compression in real time.


Dr. Rigg’s research in shock physics started as a graduate student where he used real-time and time-resolved X-ray diffraction to quantitatively measure lattice compression in shocked lithium fluoride single crystals.  After receiving his Ph.D., Dr. Rigg joined Los Alamos National Laboratory as a staff scientist where he spent 15 years studying a broad range of physical phenomena in metals under dynamic compression conditions.  This work included the investigation and understanding of solid-solid phase transitions in polycrystalline zirconium, the direct measurement of shocked densities in metals using proton radiography, and the quantitative measurement of ejected mass from a shocked metal free surface using velocimetry, X-ray radiography, and piezoelectric pins.  Dr. Rigg joined the Institute for Shock Physics and DCS@APS in 2015.


Ph.D. (Physics), 1999, Institute for Shock Physics, Washington State University, Pullman, WA
B.S. (Physics), 1994, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT

Representative Publications

  1. P. A. Rigg, M. D. Knudson, R. J. Scharff, and R. S. Hixson, “Determining the refractive index of shocked [100] lithium fluoride to the limit of transmissibility”, J. Appl. Phys. 116, 033515 (2014).
  2. W. T. Buttler, D. M. Oro, R. T. Olson, F. J. Cherne, J. E. Hammerberg, R. S. Hixson, S. K. Monfared, C. L. Pack, P. A. Rigg, J. B. Stone, and G. Terrones, “Second shock ejecta measurements with an explosively driven two-shockwave drive”, J. Appl. Phys. 116, 103519 (2014).
  3. P. A. Rigg, R. J. Scharff, and R. S. Hixson, “Sound speed measurements in tantalum using the front surface impact technique”, J. Phys.: Conf. Ser. 500, 032018 (2014).
  4. P. A. Rigg, C. W. Greeff, M. D. Knudson, G. T. Gray III, and R. S. Hixson, “Influence of impurities on the alpha to omega phase transition in zirconium under dynamic loading conditions”, J. Appl. Phys. 106, 123532 (2009).
  5. P. A. Rigg, C. L. Schwartz, R. S. Hixson, G. E. Hogan, K. K. Kwiatkowski, F. G. Mariam, M. Marr-Lyon, F. E. Merrill, C. L. Morris, P. Rightly, A. Saunders, and D. Tupa, “Proton radiography and accurate density measurements: A window into shock wave processes”, Phys. Rev. B 77 220101 (2008).
  6. P. A. Rigg and Y. M. Gupta, “Time-resolved x-ray diffraction to investigate lattice deformation in shocked LiF”, J. Appl. Phys. 93, 3291 (2003).
  7. P. A. Rigg and Y. M. Gupta, “Multiple x-ray diffraction to determine transverse lattice deformation in shocked LiF”, Phys. Rev. B 63 094112 (2001).