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An Experimental Investigation of Transonic Flow Past Two-Dimensional Wedge and Circular Arc Sections Using a Mach-Zehnder Interferometer


Bryson, Arthur Earl (1951) An Experimental Investigation of Transonic Flow Past Two-Dimensional Wedge and Circular Arc Sections Using a Mach-Zehnder Interferometer. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/S45R-FG17.


Interferometer measurements are given of the flow fields near two-dimensional wedge and circular arc sections at zero angle of attack at high subsonic and low subsonic velocities. Both subsonic flow with local supersonic zone and supersonic flow with detached shock wave have been investigated. Pressure distributions and drag coefficients as functions of Mach number have been obtained. The wedge data are compared with the theoretical work on flow past wedge sections of Guderley and Yoshihara, Vincenti and Wagoner, and Cole.

It is shown that the local Mach number at any point on the surface of a finite three-dimensional body or an unswept two-dimensional body, moving through an infinite fluid, is a stationary value at Mach number one and, in fact, remains nearly constant for a range of speeds below and above Mach number one. On the basis of this concept and the experimental data, pressure distributions and drag coefficients for the wedge and circular arc sections are presented throughout the entire transonic range of velocities.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:(Aeronautics and Mathematics) ; Transonic flow, circular arc airfoil, double-wedge airfoil, interferometer measurements, detached shock wave
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Aeronautics
Minor Option:Mathematics
Awards:Caltech Distinguished Alumni Award, 1991
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Liepmann, Hans Wolfgang
Group:GALCIT, Caltech Distinguished Alumni Award
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:1 January 1951
Non-Caltech Author Email:Brysonae (AT)
Additional Information:Discovered the local Mach Number freeze through the transonic flow region. Thesis title in 1951 Commencement Program varies: "An Interferometric Wind Tunnel Study of Transonic Flow Past Wedge and Circular Arc".
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-11062003-114932
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:4418
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:06 Nov 2003
Last Modified:24 Apr 2023 21:47

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