Abstract

The shock tube is shown to be an excellent spectroscopic source for controlled thermal excitation of astrophysically interesting spectra. Spectroscopic studies of the luminosity from shock-excited powdered solids made in three laboratories during the past seven years are discussed in detail. A wide range of inorganic oxides, nitrides, hydrides, carbides, and sulfides and other compounds have been treated in addition to samples of meteorite. A few aromatic organic materials have also been studied. Time-resolved emission and absorption techniques have been used. Spectra of most inorganic materials change from molecular to atomic with increase in shock Mach number, and an over-all thermal excitation mechanism appears to be most probable. The situation with organic materials, which have lower melting points, appears to be more complex.

© 1963 Optical Society of America

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