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Using a pressure ruptured shock tube, an experimental study of the dynamics of shock waves in weakly ionized argon, krypton, xenon and neon glow discharge plasmas has been performed. For Mach numbers in the range 1.5 -3, our results show that there is an increase in the velocity of a shock wave when it makes a transition from a neutral gas to a weakly ionized plasma and the effect increases with increasing atomic weight. The observations indicate that the shock acceleration cannot be accounteddoi:10.2514/3.15286 fatcat:2wwys3vnuvdrvkac2saxjmpwlm