Physical Sciences

A Resonator for Low-Threshold Frequency Conversion

A nonlinear dielectric whispering-gallery resonator would be poled for quasiphase-matching. A proposed toroidal or disklike dielectric optical resonator (dielectric optical cavity) would be made of an optically nonlinear material and would be optimized for use in parametric frequency conversion by imposition of a spatially periodic permanent electric polarization. The poling (see figure) would suppress dispersions caused by both the material and the geometry of the optical cavity, thereby effecting quasi-matching of the phases of high-resonance-quality (high-Q) whispering-gallery electromagnetic modes. The quasi-phase-matching of the modes would serve to maximize the interactions among them. Such a resonator might be a prototype of a family of compact, efficient nonlinear devices for operation over a broad range of optical wavelengths.

Posted in: Physical Sciences, Briefs, TSP

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Helicity in Supercritical O2/H2 and C7H16/N2 Mixing Layers

This report describes a study of databases produced by direct numerical simulation of mixing layers developing between opposing flows of two fluids under supercritical conditions, the purpose of the study being to elucidate chemical species-specific aspects of turbulence, with emphasis on helicity. The simulations were performed for two different fluid pairs — O2/H2 and C7H16/N2 — at similar values of reduced pressure.

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Doping-Induced Interband Gain in InAs/AlSb Quantum Wells

A paper describes a computational study of effects of doping in a quantum well (QW) comprising a 10-nm-thick layer of InAs sandwiched between two 21-nm-thick AlSb layers.

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Large Fluvial Fans and Exploration for Hydrocarbons

A report discusses the geological phenomena known, variously, as modern large (or large modern) fluvial fans or large continental fans, from a perspective of exploring for hydrocarbons.

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Subsurface Ice Probe

Small samples of ice would be melted and pumped to the surface for analysis. The subsurface ice probe (SIPR) is a proposed apparatus that would bore into ice to depths as great as hundreds of meters by melting the ice and pumping the samples of meltwater to the surface. Originally intended for use in exploration of subsurface ice on Mars and other remote planets, the SIPR could also be used on Earth as an alternative to coring, drilling, and melting apparatuses heretofore used to sample Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets.

Posted in: Physical Sciences, Briefs, TSP

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Real-Time Simulation of Aeroheating the Hyper-X Airplane

Computational simulations are expected to provide for initial design choices. A capability for real-time computational simulation of aeroheating has been developed in support of the Hyper-X program, which is directed toward demonstrating the feasibility of operating an air-breathing ramjet/scramjet engine at mach 5, mach 7, and mach 10. The simulation software will serve as a valuable design tool for initial trajectory studies in which aerodynamic heating is expected to exert a major influence in the design of the Hyper-X airplane; this tool will aid in the selection of materials, sizing of structural skin thicknesses, and selection of components of a thermal-protection system (TPS) for structures that must be insulated against aeroheating.

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Hydrogen Peroxide Enhances Removal of NOx From Flue Gases

Radicals from homogeneous decomposition of H2O2 react with unscrubbable NO to produce scrubbable gases. Pilot scale experiments have demonstrated a method of reducing the amounts of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emitted by industrial boilers and powerplant combustors that involves (1) injection of H2O2 into flue gases and (2) treatment of the flue gases by caustic wet scrubbing like that commonly used to remove SO2 from combustion flue gases. Heretofore, the method most commonly used for removing NOx from flue gases has been selective catalytic reduction (SCR), in which the costs of both installation and operation are very high. After further development, the present method may prove to be an economically attractive alternative to SCR.

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