Radiations is a weekly electronic newsletter published by the Physics and Astronomy Department of Carleton College. The deadline for materials to be included in Radiations is 9:00 AM Monday of the week you would like the information to appear. Contact tfields@carleton.edu if you want to be added or removed from this mailing list.

Volume 19, Issue 18 (February 25, 2013)

Peter Bumcrot Comps Talk

January 17, 2013

Rocket Nozzles and Fluid Flow Measurement

In the movie October Sky Jake Gyllenhaal plays a high school student determined to win the science fair with a rocket built by him and his friends.  Their big breakthrough comes when they find in a book the design for a rocket nozzle.  Rocket nozzles are now used in some capacity in every chemical rocket as well as some electrical propulsion systems.  In my talk I will go over the theory behind why rocket nozzles affect fluid flows the way they do.  I will outline what factors are important in designing effective rocket nozzles.  I will pay special attention to why rocket nozzles are crucial in modern propulsion systems.  Additionally, I will discuss several methods for measuring fluid flows and the various pros and cons of each method.  My last topic will be examining the use of a magnetic rocket nozzle in the Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket.