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Determining the refractive index of shocked  lithium fluoride to the limit of transmissibility
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Lithium fluoride (LiF) is a common window material used in shock- and ramp-compression experiments because it displays a host of positive attributes in these applications. Most commonly, it is used to maintain stress at an interface and velocimetry techniques are used to record the particle velocity at that interface. In this application, LiF remains transparent to stresses up to 200 GPa. In this stress range, LiF has an elastic-plastic response with a very low (<0.5 GPa) elastic precursor and exhibits no known solid-solid phase transformations. However, because the density dependence of the refractive index of LiF does not follow the Gladstone-Dale relation, the measured particle velocity at this interface is not the true particle velocity and must be corrected. For that reason, the measured velocity is often referred to as the apparent velocity in these types of experiments. In this article, we describe a series of shock-compression experiments that have been performed to determine the refractive index of LiF at the two most commonly used wavelengths (532 nm and 1550 nm) between 35 and 200 GPa to high precision. A modified form of the Gladstone-Dale relation was found to work best to fit the determined values of refractive index. In addition, we provide a direct relationship between the apparent and true particle velocity to correct experimentally obtained wave profiles by others using these velocimetry techniques.
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