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Experimental investigation of first- and second-sound shock waves in liquid helium II


Wise, Jack LeRoy (1979) Experimental investigation of first- and second-sound shock waves in liquid helium II. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/c49w-bh82.


The cryogenic shock tube is used to generate a gasdynamic shock which propagates through saturated helium vapor and subsequently reflects from the upper surface of a column of LHeII. Superconducting thin-film detectors, produced by evaporation of aluminum in an oxygen atmosphere, yield highly repeatable arrival time data for the incident gasdynamic shock and the resultant first- and second-sound shocks in the liquid. Accurate x-t diagrams of the shock trajectories have been constructed for initial liquid temperatures of T(0) = 1.522, 1.665, 1.751, 1.832, 1.989, 2.031, and 2.095°K. Consistent discrepancies are observed between experimental and theoretical wave trajectories.

The detector signals qualitatively verify theoretical predictions that the temperature decreases through the pressure shock and increases through the temperature shock. Amplitude measurements based on static detector calibrations indicate that the magnitude of the temperature jump across the pressure shock agrees approximately with the theoretical calculation. Temperature jump measurements for the coupled second-sound shock imply shock-induced relative velocities, w =v(n)-v(s), on the order of 2.5 m/sec.

For initial conditions close to the [lambda]-transition (e.g., T(0) = 2.095°K), the pressure jump across the first-sound shock is sufficient to cause a change in phase from LHeII to LHeI. This change is experimentally evidenced by detector outputs indicating the absence of the temperature shock in the wake of a sufficiently strong pressure shock.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Aeronautics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Liepmann, Hans Wolfgang
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:27 April 1979
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-11032006-095703
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:4395
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:05 Dec 2006
Last Modified:16 Apr 2021 23:32

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PDF (Wise_jl_1979.pdf) - Final Version
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