Royal Society Publishing

A New Numerical Method for Shock Wave Propagation Based on Geometrical Shock Dynamics

D. W. Schwendeman


In this paper, a new numerical method for calculating the motion of shock waves in two and three dimensions is presented. The numerical method is based on Whitham's theory of geometrical shock dynamics, which is an approximate theory that determines the motion of the leading shockfront explicitly. The numerical method uses a conservative finite difference discretization of the equations of geometrical shock dynamics. These equations are similar to those for steady supersonic potential flow, and thus the numerical method developed here is similar to ones developed for that context. Numerical results are presented for shock propagation in channels and for converging cylindrical and spherical shocks. The channel problem is used in part to compare this new numerical method with ones developed earlier. Converging cylindrical and spherical shocks are calculated to analyse their stability.

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