Molecular Dynamics Simulation of a Piston-Driven Shock Wave in a Hard Sphere Gas.
Molecular dynamics simulation is used to study the piston driven shock wave at Mach 1.5, 3, and 10. A shock tube, whose shape is a circular cylinder, is filled with hard sphere molecules having a Maxwellian thermal velocity distribution and zero mean velocity. The piston moves and a shock wave is generated. All collisions are specular, including those between the molecules and the computational boundaries, so that the shock development is entirely causal, with no imposed statistics. The structure of the generated shock is examined in detail, and the wave speed, profiles of density, velocity, and temperature, and shock thickness are determined. The results are compared with published results of other methods, especially the direct simulation Monte-Carlo method. Property profiles are similar to those generated by direct simulation Monte -Carlo method. The shock wave thicknesses are smaller than the direct simulation Monte-Carlo results, but larger than those of the other methods. Simulation of a shock wave, which is 1-dimensional, is a severe test of the molecular dynamics method, which is always 3-dimensional. A major challenge of the thesis is to examine the capability of the molecular dynamics methods by choosing a difficult task.
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- Engineering: Aerospace; Engineering: Mechanical; Physics: General