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Excitation of Molecular Spectra by Shock Waves


SEVERAL spectroscopic studios have recently been made of the light emitted from gases submitted to an intense shock wave1–3, but little information is available about the emission from air and other permanent gases. The very high temperatures available make the shock tube a convenient device for study of spectra of astrophysical interest, and a knowledge of the spectrum of air is necessary in any consideration of its high-temperature emissivity which may be required for problems of supersonic flight at high altitude. We have studied emission from air, nitrogen, oxygen, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide or mixtures of these with argon.

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  3. Fairbairn, A. R., and Gaydon, A. G., Proc. Roy. Soc., A, 239, 464 (1957).

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  4. Rose, P. H., Avco Res. Lab. Res. Note, No. 37 (May 1957).

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CLOUSTON, J., GAYDON, A. Excitation of Molecular Spectra by Shock Waves. Nature 180, 1342–1344 (1957).

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