, Volume 17, Issue 5, pp 350-355

Refractive index matching methods for liquid flow investigations

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A difficulty common to most optical diagnostic techniques that are applied to fluid dynamics studies is the refraction of light passing through model and/or test section walls. The method of choice to eliminate refraction problems in liquid flows is to match refractive index. This paper presents techniques for refractive index matching including, (i) arrangement of test section and model, (ii) choice of solid and liquid materials, and (iii) methods for tuning the match. In addition, a new application of refractive index matching to liquid-liquid droplet studies is presented.

The author would like to thank Rick James and Jon Martinez for their assistance in conducting the matching experiments and Professor Mickey Gunter for his comments on refractometry. We are grateful to the United States Department of Energy for financial support of the droplet work under Grant DE-FG07-86ER13572