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Published 2009 | public
Journal Article

Detonation in gases


We review recent progress in gaseous detonation experiment, modeling, and simulation. We focus on the propagating detonation wave as a fundamental combustion process. The picture that is emerging is that although all propagating detonations are unstable, there is a wide range of behavior with one extreme being nearly laminar but unsteady periodic flow and the other chaotic instability with highly turbulent flow. We discuss the implications of this for detonation propagation and dynamic behavior such as diffraction, initiation, and quenching or failure.

Additional Information

Copyright © 2009 Elsevier. Available online 25 September 2008. I have been privileged to work at Caltech with an extraordinarily talented group of young researchers who deserve all the credit for the results shown here. The statistical analysis that is shown in Fig. 8, Fig. 9 and Fig. 10 was carried out by Z. Liang. Financial support was provided by Caltech and grants from Los Alamos National Laboratory, US Department of Energy, and the Office of Naval Research. I thank S. Kao and J. Karnesky for their assistance in preparing this manuscript. This paper is dedicated to John H.S. Lee of McGill University who first introduced me to the intricacies of the gas detonation phenomenon and has had the greatest influence on my thinking about detonations over the past three decades. For myself and many others engaged in the scientific study of detonations, John is a primary source of knowledge, encouragement, provocative ideas, and a staunch advocate of the central role of turbulence in unstable detonation waves.

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August 22, 2023
October 19, 2023