Combustion Theory
It is stating the obvious that Combustion Theory is the use of
theoretical methods (mathematics, modelling, numerics, etc.) in the study of
combustion phenomena. Although some early foundations were laid by Faraday
and others in the middle of the 19th century and around the beginning of the
20th century, it was not until the middle of the 20th Century that von Karman
and a Russian School, involving FrankKamenetskii and Zel'dovich, prepared a
sound basis for the theory. Von Karman referred to this as
"aerothermochemistry," in which every imaginable physical transport,
chemical and thermodynamic process is thrown into the melting pot  a vast
field of developing knowledge in Physics, Chemistry, Engineering and
Mathematics. The development of systematic asymptotic techiques in Caltech
during the 1960s opened the way towards revealing an underlying simplicity in
many combustion processes, involving fairly simple mathematical models and
solutions. Computers have also made it possible to treat many problems in
their fuller, more complicated form.
It can also be stated that Combustion Theory has provided a rich range of
equations with fascinating mathematical properties. These include the
Sivashinsky equation which approximates the destabilising effect of
density change in flames; the KuramotoSivashinsky equation which
approximates an antidiffusive destabilising effect that some flames possess;
and Clarke's equation which describes chemical and pressurewave
interactions in a detonable chemical mixture. These equations, and some
milestone solutions and dimensionless numbers that have helped to punctuate
the growth of this field of research can be spotted in the following artistic
impression of "Combustion Theory".
"Fire Writer"
Click on the picture for a detailed
Acrobat PDF version (about
340Kb).
Combustion Theory and Modelling:
There is now a highquality
quarterly journal dedicated
to theoretical and modelling
aspects of combustion. The
first issue of
Combustion Theory
and Modelling
appeared in March 1997 and
the journal now has the top
impact factor of all combustion
journals.

 

Click on the journal cover for details about CTM and
information on submitting articles, subscriptions etc.
[ Sept, 2005 
dold@man.ac.uk
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