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An Experimental Investigation of the Structure of Reflecting, Ionizing Shocks in Xenon


Smith, Jerome Allan (1967) An Experimental Investigation of the Structure of Reflecting, Ionizing Shocks in Xenon. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/KSPH-2V57.


The results of an experimental investigation of the reflection of strong shocks in xenon from the end wall of the GALCIT 6" shock tube are presented. The reflection of the incident shock structure, consisting of a frozen shock front, a region of relatively uniform frozen flow, and an ionization front, was observed with a fast-rise (0.3 [mu] sec) pressure gauge mounted in the shock tube end wall. The interaction between the reflecting shock and the ionizing gas in the incident shock structure was of particular interest. This interaction produces a complicated series of shock and rarefaction waves; those waves that propagate back to the end wall were observed with the pressure gauge. The incident shock Mach number was varied from 11 to 20, and the initial pressure was varied from 0.1 to 1.5 mm Hg. A simple model which includes the gross features of the shock reflection process is used to calculate end wall pressures. The calculated pressures agree well with the experimental observations. In addition, ionization relaxation times for xenon behind the incident and reflected shocks are determined from this simple model and the measured pressure histories. The relaxation time data yield a better understanding of the ionization relaxation process in monatomic gases and provide an estimate for the electron-atom, inelastic excitation cross section for xenon.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:(Aeronautics)
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Aeronautics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Roshko, Anatol
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:17 April 1967
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-10092002-160549
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:3991
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:10 Oct 2002
Last Modified:11 Mar 2024 20:09

Thesis Files

PDF (Smith_ja_1967.pdf) - Final Version
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