Professor Drake works primarily in high-energy-density physics and its applications to astrophysics. High-energy-density physics studies the properties and behavior of matter and radiation at pressures of millions of atmospheres (or more) and temperatures above 10,000 degrees (or more). He is internationally recognized as a pioneer in this field. His work emphasizes the dynamic behavior of such systems, which also may be strongly radiative or magnetized. His team produces this kind of behavior in the laboratory, generally by driving a complex target with a high-energy laser. This lets the team directly examine processes that also occur in hot, dynamic astrophysical systems such as supernovae, supernova remnants, and cataclysmic variable stars. The processes they study are also relevant to Inertial Confinement Fusion, where some of his students continue their careers. Professor Drake is also known for work in laser-plasma interactions, and is a Fellow of the American Physical Society.
High Energy Density Physics: Foundations, Inertial Fusion, and Experimental Astrophysics, (R.P. Drake), 534 pages, Springer, Berlin (2006) ISBN-10 3-540-29314-0.
High-Energy-Density Physics, (R.P. Drake), Physics Today, June 2010.
Perspectives on High-Energy-Density Physics, (R. P. Drake), Physics of Plasmas 16, 055501 (2009) DOI: 10.1063/1.3078101.
Radiative Effects in Radiative Shocks in Shock Tubes, (R.P. Drake, F.W. Doss, R.G. McClarren, M.L. Adams, N. Amato, D.Bingham, C.C. Chou, C. DiStefano, K. Fidkowsky, B. Fryxell, T.I.Gombosi, M.J. Grosskopf, J.P. Holloway, B. van der Holst, C.M.Huntington, S. Karni, C.M. Krauland, C.C. Kuranz, E. Larsen, B. vanLeer, B. Mallick, D. Marion, W. Martin, J.E. Morel, E.S. Myra, V. Nair, K.G. Powell, L. Raushberger, P. Roe, E. Rutter, I.V. Sokolov, Q. Stout, B.R. Torralva, G. Toth, K. Thornton, A.J. Visco), High Energy Density Physics 7, 130-140 (2011).
Spike Morphology in Blast-Wave-Driven Instability Experiments, (C.C. Kuranz, R.P. Drake, M.J. Grosskopf, B.A. Remington, H.F. Robey, J.F. Hansen, A.R. Miles, T. Plewa, N. Hearn, J. Knauer), Physics of Plasmas 17, 052709 (2010).
Theory of Radiative Shocks in Optically Thick Media, (R.P. Drake), Physics of Plasmas 14, 043301 (2007).
Experiments to Produce a Hydrodynamically Unstable, Spherically Diverging System of Relevance to Instabilities in Supernovae, (R. P. Drake, H. F. Robey, O. A. Hurricane, B. A. Remington, J. Knauer, D. Arnett, D.D. Ryutov, J.O. Kane, K.S. Budil, J. Grove), The Astrophysical Journal 564, 896-908, (2002).
Observation of a Hydrodynamically-Driven, Radiative-Precursor Shock, (P. A. Keiter, R. P. Drake, T. S. Perry, H. Robey, B. A. Remington, C. A. Iglesias, R. J. Wallace, J. Knauer), Physical Review Letters 89, 165003/1-4 (2002).
The Design of Laboratory Experiments to Produce Collisionless Shocks of Cosmic Relevance, (R.P. Drake), Physics of Plasmas 7, 4690-4698 (2000).
The Influence of Subsidiary Langmuir Decay on the Spectrum of Stimulated Raman Scattering, (R.P. Drake and S.H. Batha), Physics of Fluids B 3, 2936-2938 (1991).
Efficient Raman Sidescatter and Hot-Electron Production in Laser-Plasma Interaction Experiments, (R.P.Drake, R.E.Turner, B.F.Lasinski, K.G.Estabrook, E.M.Campbell, C.L.Wang, D.W.Phillion, E.A.Williams, and W.L.Kruer), Physical Review Letters 53, 1739-1742 (1984).