Shortlisted entries 2012
1. Hypersonic Flight
The idea of travelling from London to New York in under an hour is of course very appealing to people. But before we get there we need to understand the flow physics associated with travelling at such speeds. At the Aero-Physics Laboratory we study a propulsion configuration known as a scramjet at a flight speed of over 3800 miles/hour or 5 times the speed of sound. Scramjet appear to be a suitable replacement for the conventional jet engine. Using a photography method known as schlieren photography and with a little twist of adding colour, we can visualise the complex shock structures that would affect the performance of such engines. In the lab we have come to call it ‘Tron-Photography’ since the beautiful colours reminds one of the well known game and movie Tron!