Bleakney Shock Tube


Walter Bleakney (1902-1992) was a professor of physics at Princeton who worked on the ionization of gases. In 1940 he started what became the Princeton University station of the National Defense Research Council. As part of this World War II work, Bleakney studied the damage caused by various shock waves, using a device that became known as a shock tube.

Ref: R. J. Emrich, “Walter Bleakney and the Development of the Shock Tube at Princeton,” Shock Waves 5 (1996): 327-339.

“Walter Bleakney,” Physics Today (Sept. 1993): 80.

Location: Currently not on view

See more items in: Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences


Exhibition Location:

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: PH.330590Accession Number: 299612Catalog Number: 330590

Object Name: shock tube

Measurements: overall: 4 3/4 in x 54 in x 6 in; 12.065 cm x 137.16 cm x 15.24 cm


Record Id: nmah_1803006

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.