The Visible Radiation from Helium in a Strong Shock Wave Page: 96
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have positions and intensities which were approximately in agreement with
theoretical predictions. The 4^F—2^P line is of particular interest since
it was found that the separation of the forbidden-allowed pair, 4^F--2^P
and 4^D~2^P could be predicted theoretically to within a small fraction
of the total separation. Thus the splitting of this pair of lines could
be used as a measure of the ion and electron density in a gas where con-
ditions are unknown.
Continuum radiation was not studied in any detail, but it was
found that, within the experimental precision, the ratio of the total
energy emitted in a line to the energy emitted in a narrow band of con-
tlnuum was proportional to N-ne/ne , where N and n^ are the densities of
helium nuclei and helium ions, respectively.
Rough measurements of electronic excitation and ionization relax-
ation time at the shock front indicated on increase with decreasing gas
density, as expected.
Certain useful techniques were developed during the course of the
work. The conventional shock tube was modified by replacing the driver
section with a block of high explosive from which emerged a plane shock
wave. This system has as advantages greater potential shock strengths and
the initial production of a plane wave in the shocked gas. On the other
hand, these advantages are opposed by the complete destruction of the
shock tube when it is fired. Much work remains to be done in the devel-
opment of the explosive shock tube to a state where it can bridge the gap
in shock strengths between those obtainable in the conventional shock tube
and those discussed in this thesis.
The method used for making time-resolved spectra in these experl-
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Seay, Glenn Emmett. The Visible Radiation from Helium in a Strong Shock Wave, report, January 1957; Los Alamos, New Mexico. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc502356/m1/103/: accessed July 17, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.