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Old   November 15, 2000, 04:32
Default Are characteristics shock waves?
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When analysing flow through a supersonic nozzle we draw the characteristics which are at an angle to the streamlines. Are these characteristics nothing but shock waves?

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Old   November 16, 2000, 05:16
Default Re: Are characteristics shock waves?
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No, they are not. A shock forms where the characteristics (from the same family) collide one another.
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Old   November 16, 2000, 09:01
Default Re: Are characteristics shock waves?
A. Taurchini
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Characterstics are structure along which perturbation propagate (expansion, compression or contact discontinuity). Moreover it's not said that two impinging characteristic of the same family will generate a shock ... but more realistically you have to solve the so-called Riemann problem to obtain more information. E-mail me for further explanations. Bye
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Old   November 17, 2000, 12:46
Default Re: Are characteristics shock waves?
Rich E
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A characteristic is a line along which an infintely weak shock, called a Mach wave, would lie if you placed a very small perturbation in the flow at the point of origin of the characteristic. You can draw two characteristics (a left running one and a right running one)eminating from any point in a (supersonic) flow field. They are useful because the govering equations describing the flow reduce from partial diffs to ordinary diffs along the characteristic. Hence by drawing a mesh of intersecting characteristics you can propagate an flow field solution from upstream to downstream. This is known as the method of characteristics
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