Skip to Main Content
Your organization might have access to this article on the publisher's site. To check, click on this link:http://dx.doi.org/+10.1063/1.1722329
Spheres were fired at supersonic speeds into monatomic gases and into chlorine gas. The position of the shock wave which forms in front of the sphere depends on the Mach number and gas state before and after crossing the shock wave. Measurements of position made in monatomic gases agree fairly well with aerodynamic theory. As the shock position depends on the actual gas state attained, and thus molecular excitation times, measurements in more complicated gases than a monatomic gas can give information as to amount and rates of excitation. The vibrational energy excitation in chlorine was singled out for study. This excitation involves a well‐known rate process. By carrying out shock position measurements at several different pressures, it is possible to infer the order of magnitude of the vibrational relaxation time in chlorine; the present results are in agreement with shock tube measurements of the relaxation time.