Date of Award

Spring 1984

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering


Mechanical Engineering

Committee Director

Robert L. Ash

Committee Member

Surendra N. Tiwari

Committee Member

Gennaro L. Goglia

Committee Member

Sushil K. Chaturvedi

Committee Member

John J. Swetits


Refractive index of ammonia-water solutions is investigated experimentally (for (lamda) = 632.8 nm) and semi-empirically (for (lamda) = 589.3 and 632.8 nm) in ammonia-weight concentration of up to 30%, over a temperature range of 20 to 60(DEGREES)C. The experiment employs a specially designed and built refractometer that measures the displacement of a laser beam due to refraction in the test solution. The refractive index is then deduced from the beam displacement. Based on the experimental data, the refractive index is correlated empirically with the concentration and temperature. A semi-empirical investigation is developed based on the Lorentz-Lorenz equation and the additive rule of mixtures with an empirical correction function. Both the experimental and semi-empirical results indicate that the refractive index increases with the concentration and they confirm qualitatively the general behavior of refractive indices of liquids, i.e.; they decrease with increases in either temperature or wave length of light. Quantitatively, both sets of results are in reasonably good agreement, especially, for moderate concentrations (up to 15%).



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