An electron beam technique was used to measure density profiles of strong shock waves in argon with high accuracy. The experimental results are compared with the results of theoretical models. Of the models that are available in enough detail for comparison, the best agreement with experiment is shown by the direct simulation Monte-Carlo method (Bird 1968), assuming an inverse 12th power molecular interaction force law. It is shown that the density maximum slope thickness is not sufficient for a detailed description of the shock wave structure.
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