Nanosecond timescale underwater electrical wire explosions of ring-shaped Cu wires were investigated using a pulsed generator with a current amplitude up to 50 kA. It was shown that this type of wire explosion results in the generation of a toroidal shock wave (SW). Time- and space-resolved optical diagnostics were used to determine azimuthal uniformity of the shock wave front and its velocity. It was found that the shock wave preserves its circular front shape in the range of radii 50μm<r<5mm. At r15μm, azimuthal irregularities of the SW front were obtained indicating the appearance of azimuthal instability. A surprising finding is that the shock wave propagates with a constant velocity of vsw=1.2M, where M is the Mach number. The dynamics of the leading part of the shock wave, based on the oblique shock wave theory, is presented, explaining the constant velocity of the shock wave.

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