Physics & Astronomy ETDs

Publication Date




Recombination in the hydrogen-oxygen reaction has been studied by monitoring the growth of infrared emission at 2.7 microns from water vapor as it is formed behind incident shock waves. Experiments were carried out in gas mixtures with hydrogen-to-oxygen ratios between 1.0 and 0.33 and temperatures between 1435° and 1868°K. Reactants were diluted with 92-98% argon. The validity of the transparent gas approxi­mation (emission intensity proportional to (H20]) and the relationship between emission intensity and temperature were established by cali­bration experiments in which mixtures of water vapor and argon were shock-heated to temperatures between 1328° and 1982°K. Analysis of H20-emission profiles obtained during recombination utilized the full equilibrium emission level and the partial equilibrium approximation.

The rate coefficient, k Ar/V, of the dominant reaction in lean mixtures,H + O2 + Ar --> H02 + Ar, was measured. The results of this work were shown to be in good agreement with other shock tube measurements, The partial equilibrium approximation was indirectly confirmed by com­parison of the results of this study with those of the OH-absorption technique. The usefulness and limitations of the infrared emission technique are discussed, The applicability of the shock tube technique to other portions of the hydrogen-oxygen reaction and to other reacting gas systems is considered.

Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

Physics & Astronomy

First Committee Member (Chair)

Christopher Pratt Leavitt

Second Committee Member

Seymour Samuel Alpert

Third Committee Member

Charles Leroy Beckel

Fourth Committee Member

Richard M. Getzinger

Project Sponsors

United States Atomic Energy Commission



Document Type