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Undergraduate Studies of Supersonic Flow from a Converging-Diverging Nozzle

K. Stein[1], N. Gessner[1], R. Peterson[1], A. Wiedmann[1]
[1]Department of Physics, Bethel University, St. Paul, MN, USA

Undergraduate studies are carried out to examine the supersonic flow from an axisymmetric converging-diverging nozzle. Flow in the nozzle is initiated by the rupture of a diaphragm that is positioned between the nozzle and a 1-gallon pressurized air tank. Simulations are carried out in COMSOL Multiphysics® for unsteady, axisymmetric flow with the High Mach Number interface of the CFD Module. Adaptive meshing is utilized to capture the structure of the flow, including the initial shock wave and the Mach diamonds that are present after the flow from the nozzle has been fully established. Qualitative and quantitative comparisons are made to the COMSOL simulation with experiments based on high-speed video shadowgraph imaging and dual-beam interferometry measurements.