Date: April 1, 1958
Creator: Oswatitsch, Klaus
Description: The increasing importance of high-speed flow leads to similar problems in various fields of research which are summarized in what follows. Typical of all cases is the conversion of high kinetic energy into extreme thermodynamic states with temperatures of several thousand degrees, frequently connected with dissociation and ionization of the gas involved. There is also a characteristic small sensitivity to the processes discussed in the case of gases of low molecular weight (light gases). The penetration of meteors into the atmosphere of the earth at astronomical speeds results in temperatures higher than those of the surface of the sun. Such temperatures may be produced in shock tubes, with light gases used as the driving gas. For supersonic fighters the problem of propulsion is less difficult to solve than the problem of large heating, on the surface and in the combustion chamber. Finally, for the space-travel rocket, astronomical speeds have to be reached which require the lightest possible gases as propellants. Here again, dissociation processes in the combustion chamber are of considerable importance.
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