Sam Strickler, right, and Tyler Riggs are photographed in the Impact Lab at the Institute for Shock Physics, on the Washington State University campus, in Pullman, Wash., on Wednesday, June 27, 2012. (Young Kwak/Institute for Shock Physics)

Institute of Shock Physics

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Understanding Materials at Extreme Conditions

The Institute for Shock Physics (ISP) at Washington State University (WSU) is a multi-disciplinary research organization with a strong focus on understanding condensed matter response at extreme conditions.

WSU (as the lead institution) and three outstanding academic partners – Princeton University, California Institute of Technology, and Stanford University – conduct substantive research leading to advances/innovations in the field of Dynamic Compression Science. Multidisciplinary research activities, involving students, postdocs, and faculty members from different academic disciplines at the four participating institutions, comprehensively address the exciting scientific challenges. In addition, meaningful and mutually beneficial collaborations with scientists are undertaken at the NNSA Laboratories: Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore, and Sandia.

WSU is a leader in shock wave and high pressure research. 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. Using state-of-the-art experimental and computational capabilities, world-class faculty at the ISP 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.