In order to provide a rational background for the analysis of experimental observations of blast wave phenomena, the conservation equations governing their nonsteady flow field are formulated in a general manner, without the usual restrictions imposed by an equation of state, and with proper account taken, by means of source terms, of other effects which, besides the inertial terms that conventionally dominate these equations, can affect the flow. Taking advantage of the fact that a blast wave can be generally considered as a spatially one-dimensional flow field whose nonsteady behavior can be regarded, consequently, as a function of just two independent variables, two generalized blast wave coordinates are introduced, one associated with the front of the blast wave and the other with its flow field. The conservation equations are accordingly transformed into this coordinate system, acquiring thereby a comprehensive character, in that they refer then to any frame of reference, being applicable, in particular, to problems involving either space or time profiles of the gas-dynamic parameters in the Eulerian system, or time profiles in the Lagrangian system.

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