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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/D077494/1
Title: Nonlinear Optical Diagnostics in Turbulent Media
Principal Investigator: Ewart, Professor P
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
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Department: Oxford Physics
Organisation: University of Oxford
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 07 September 2006 Ends: 06 December 2006 Value (£): 20,396
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Transport Systems and Vehicles
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Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
The world needs to reduce the amount of atmospheric pollution generated by motor cars, aeroplanes and power stations. One way of doing this is to make engines that burn gasoline more efficiently. Less fuel is then burned and so less carbon dioxide and other gases are emitted to the atmosphere. This will help to avoid the climate change that is predicted as a result of global warming by the Greenhouse Effect. Engineers need to know more details about what happens inside an engine when fuel and air are mixed and burned. Many researchers around the world including the group at Oxford have been using lasers to study the combustion inside engines. This work aims to improve our understanding of the combustion and to help the engineers to design more efficient and cleaner engines. Light from lasers is coherent, that is the waves of light are all in-step, unlike ordinary light whose waves are chaotic. When coherent light from lasers interacts with atoms and molecules it can, when arranged suitably, generate signals in the form of a new laser-like beam that gives information about the molecules and their environment. These coherent signal beams can be generated in the gases inside engines by shining the required laser beams in through a small window in the engine wall. The signal beams can be arranged to escape through another small window and can be measured to get information on the gas inside the engine. This proposal will bring to Oxford Dr Alan Eckbreth who is one of the pioneers of this kind of laser technique. He invented several methods that are now widely used to measure temperatures and concentrations of molecules in automobile engines, gas turbines and even the giant Saturn rocket engines. He will work with Professor Paul Ewart who has also pioneered laser techniques for studying combustion. Dr Eckbreth and Professor Ewart's group will study how to arrange the laser beams inside the engines to get the best information from the signals generated when the lasers interact with the molecules in the gas. During the engine cycle the temperature can reach 2000 degrees and the pressure 50 atmospheres. Different geometrical arrangements, different combinations of laser wavelengths and different timings of the laser pulses into the engines will be studied to allow measurements to be made throughout the engine cycle. This will provide important data on how the air and fuel mix as well as how the pollution is generated during the engine cycle. Dr Eckbreth also has vast experience of taking advanced concepts into industrial application and will share his expertise with the Oxford groups in Physics (Professor Ewart) and Engineering (Dr Stone).
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Organisation Website: http://www.ox.ac.uk