A Caltech Library Service

Experimental study of shock wave strengthening by a positive density gradient in a cryogenic shock tube


Rupert, Viviane Claude (1973) Experimental study of shock wave strengthening by a positive density gradient in a cryogenic shock tube. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/ZXBM-7809.


An experimental investigation of the strengthening of a shock wave propagating through an isobaric region of increasing density is presented. A new experimental configuration consisting of a pressure-driven shock tube mounted vertically with the test section partially immersed in a cryogenic bath is used. The resulting test gas density distribution consists of a uniform region of low density near the shock tube diaphragm, then a strong local gradient followed by another uniform region of high density. The Mach number of the shock initiated at the diaphragm is determined as the shock emerges from the gradient from velocity and temperature measurements for various initial conditions. The experimental data are compared with predictions from approximate theoretical models and a numerical integration of the exact flow equations for the shock-gradient interaction. The measured Mach numbers are considerably higher than these predictions indicating that the models are not adequate to represent the experimental configuration. Calculations show that the additional strengthening of the shock results from multiple interactions between waves generated within the gradient and flow nonuniformities due to the shock formation mechanism.

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 (advisor)
  • Roshko, Anatol (advisor)
  • Setchell, Robert E. (advisor)
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:24 May 1972
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:08272010-083731520
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:6012
Deposited By: Dan Anguka
Deposited On:27 Aug 2010 22:07
Last Modified:20 Dec 2019 19:43

Thesis Files

PDF - Final Version
See Usage Policy.


Repository Staff Only: item control page