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Experiments have been carried out to quantify the mixing induced by the interaction of a weak shock wave with a cylindrical volume of a gas (helium) that is lighter than its surroundings (air). In these experiments a round laminar jet was used to produce the light-gas cylinder, and planar laser-induced fluorescence (PLIF), utilizing a fluorescent tracer (biacetyl) mixed with the helium, was used to visualize the flow. These techniques provide a higher quality of flow visualization than that obtained in previous investigations. In addition, the PLIF technique could be used for the measurement of species concentration. The distortion of the helium cylinder produced by the passing shock wave was found to be similar to that displayed by images from previous experimental and computational investigations. The downstream displacement of several points on the boundary of the light-gas cylinder are measured and agree reasonably well with the results of earlier experimental and theoretical studies as well. Because the mixing process causes the helium originally contained within the cylinder to be dispersed into the surrounding air, the PLIF image area inside the contour at one half the maximum concentration of the fluorescent tracer decreases as the two gases mixed. The change in this area is used as a measure of the mixing rate, and it is found that the time rate of change of this area divided by the area of the initial jet is approximately −0.7 × 103 s−1.
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