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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Investigation of the dynamics of radiation fronts Zuzak, William W.


A theoretical investiation of steady radiation fronts was carried out for the experimentally realistic situation in which ionizing or dissociating radiation passes through a transparent window into an absorbing gas. It was shown that five different types of radiation fronts may occur -depending on the ratio of photon flux to absorber density. It was possible to calculate the flow in each case provided the final temperature behind the radiation front was assumed. This final temperature may be calculated if the structure and all reactions within the radiation front are taken into account. An analytic expression can be obtained if particle motion and recombination are neglected , and the radiation is assumed to be monochromatic. This ideal case corresponds closely to a weak R-type radiation front. A first order relativistic correction indicates that the width of the front decreases as the velocity of the front approaches the speed of light. In an associated experiment radiation fronts in oxygen and iodine were produced by an intense light pulse from a constricted arc. The experiment in iodine demonstrated the beginning of the formation of a radiation front during the 10 μsec light pulse. Radiation induced shock waves were observed in oxygen after the decay of the light pulse. These Mach 1.1 shocks were considered theoretically as unsteady one-dimensional flow and were treated by the method of characteristics, which was modified to include the energy input. The agreement between the theoretical and experimental results was satisfactory.

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