On dynamics and thermal radiation of imploding shock waves

Sammanfattning: Converging cylindrical shock waves have been studied experimentally. Numericalcalculations based on the Euler equations and analytical comparisons basedon the approximate theory of geometrical shock dynamics have been made tocomplement the study.Shock waves with circular or polygonal shock front shapes have been createdand focused in a shock tube. With initial Mach numbers ranging from 2 to4, the shock fronts accelerate as they converge. The shocked gas at the centreof convergence attains temperatures high enough to emit radiation which isvisible to the human eye. The strength and duration of the light pulse due toshock implosion depends on the medium. In this study, shock waves convergingin air and argon have been studied. In the latter case, the implosion lightpulse has a duration of roughly 10 μs. This enables non-intrusive spectrometricmeasurements on the gas conditions.Circular shock waves are very sensitive to disturbances which deform theshock front, decreasing repeatability. Shocks consisting of plane sides makingup a symmetrical polygon have a more stable behaviour during focusing,which provides less run-to-run variance in light strength. The radiation fromthe gas at the implosion centre has been studied photometrically and spectrometrically.Polygonal shocks were used to provide better repeatability. Thefull visible spectrum of the light pulse created by a shock wave in argon hasbeen recorded, showing the gas behaving as a blackbody radiator with apparenttemperatures up to 6000 K. This value is interpreted as a modest estimation ofthe temperatures actually achieved at the centre as the light has been collectedfrom an area larger than the bright gas core.As apparent from experimental data real gas effects must be taken intoconsideration for calculations at the implosion focal point. Ideal gas numericaland analytical solutions show temperatures and pressures approaching infinity,which is clearly not physical. Real gas effects due to ionisation of theargon atoms have been considered in the numerical work and its effect on thetemperature has been calculated.The propagation of circular and polygonal have also been experimentallystudied and compared to the self-similar theory and geometrical shock dynamics,showing good agreement.

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