A transport equation for the evolution of shock amplitudes along rays

  • Giovanni Russo
  • John Hunter


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A new asymptotic method is derived for the study of the evolution of weak shocks in several dimension. The method is based on the Generalized Wavefront Expansion derived in [1]. In that paper the propagation of a shock into a known background was studied under the assumption that shock is weak, i.e. Mach Number =1+O(ε), ε ≪ 1, and that the perturbation of the field varies over a length scale O(ε). To the lowest order, the shock surface evolves along the rays associated with the unperturbed state.

An infinite system of compatibility relations was derived for the jump in the field and its normal derivatives along the shock, but no valid criterion was found for a truncation of the system.

Here we show that the infinite hierarchy is equivalent to a single equation that describes the evolution of the shock along the rays. We show that this method gives equivalent results to those obtained by Weakly Nonlinear Geometrical Optics [2].