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Experiments on the Upstream Wake in Magneto-Fluid Dynamics


Ahlstrom, Harlow Garth (1963) Experiments on the Upstream Wake in Magneto-Fluid Dynamics. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/NAR6-M485.


Measurements have been made of the perturbation magnetic field in front of a semi-infinite Rankine body moving parallel to a uniform impressed magnetic field in a conducting fluid. The purpose of these experiments was to investigate the so-called upstream wake effect which has been predicted by theory. It is believed that these are the first experiments in which the upstream wake was observed. Although the wake was found to exist as predicted when the Alfvén number is greater than one, its decay behavior was remarkably different from that which was predicted. The solutions for infinite medium predicted that in the wake the perturbations should decay inversely as the distance from the body. However the experiments showed that the perturbations decayed exponentially. It was finally shown that this change in the decay behavior was an effect of the walls and the conducting material surrounding the fluid.

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):
  • Liepmann, Hans Wolfgang
Thesis Committee:
  • Liepmann, Hans Wolfgang (chair)
  • Fung, Yuan-cheng
  • Millikan, Clark Blanchard
  • Lauritsen, Thomas
  • Whitham, Gerald Beresford
Defense Date:1 January 1963
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Douglas Aircraft CompanyUNSPECIFIED
Ford FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Office of Naval Research (ONR)N-ORR-220(21)
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-12082005-111323
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:4858
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:09 Dec 2005
Last Modified:06 May 2020 22:09

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