Statistically Steady Measurements of Rayleigh-Taylor Mixing in a Gas Channel
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A novel gas channel experiment is described to study the development of high Atwood number Rayleigh-Taylor mixing. Two gas streams, one containing air and the other containing a helium-air mixture, flow parallel to each other separated by a thin splitter plate. The streams meet at the end of a splitter plate leading to the formation of an unstable interface and of buoyancy driven mixing. This buoyancy driven mixing experiment allows for long data collection times, has short transients, and is statistically steady. The facility was designed to be capable of large Atwood number studies (At~0.75). We describe initial validation work to measure the self similar evolution of mixing at density differences (0.035