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Construction and testing of a rarefied gas flow facility


Henderson, Arnold H. (1967) Construction and testing of a rarefied gas flow facility. Engineer's thesis, California Institute of Technology.


A low-density gasdynamic facility, suitable for measurement of mass flow through small (approximately 1 mm diameter) nozzles, tubes, and orifices, was designed and constructed. The system is capable of producing and measuring mass flows at 100:1 upstream/downstream pressure ratios for the entire spectrum from continuum to free molecular flow.

Results of preliminary tests on an orifice are shown and compared with the work of previous investigators. The regime of transition flow is apparently shown to extend to higher Knudsen numbers than previously postulated. The ratio, of actual mass flow to theoretical free-molecule mass flow is shown to increase smoothly from a limiting value of 1.0 at high Knudsen numbers to an apparent limiting value at very low continuum-flow Knudsen numbers.

Item Type:Thesis (Engineer's thesis)
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Aeronautics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Zukoski, Edward E.
Thesis Committee:
  • Zukoski, Edward E. (chair)
  • Marble, Frank E.
Defense Date:22 September 1966
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-12292005-083819
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:5162
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:29 Dec 2005
Last Modified:26 Dec 2012 03:15

Thesis Files

PDF (Henderson_ah_1967.pdf) - Final Version
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