Physics & Astronomy ETDs

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The vibrational relaxation of pure oxygen has been studied in incident shock waves in the temperature range l000-3700° K. The re­laxation process was observed by measuring density gradients in the relaxation zone with the quantitative laser schlieren technique. The high sensitivity of this technique allowed determination of the relaxation time T, defined by the Bethe-Teller equation

= [ E - E ],

as a function of temperature and pressure in the relaxation zone. The variation in P the relaxation time at one atm, during th individual experiments, was found to agree with the over-all temperature dependence derived from the entire series of experiments. This agreement in slope confirms the applicability of the Bethe-Teller equation to a description of this relaxation process. The variation of the relaxation time with temperature is given by PT = (2.92 ± 0.20) x exp [(126.0 0.9) /] atm. Sec. This result is in general agreement with the results of previous investigations.

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Physics & Astronomy

First Committee Member (Chair)

Christopher Pratt Leavitt

Second Committee Member

John H. Kuefer

Third Committee Member

David S. King

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