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  • Author or Editor: James L. Kassner Jr. x
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Josef Podzimek and James L. Kassner Jr.

Abstract

The recent article by Cadle et al. (1975) describes a comparison of different types of condensation nucleus counters. Some general remarks are made here on the terminology and calibration of the counters and on the interpretation of the results. A comparison of one of the calibrated instruments (SANDS) with the UMR Absolute Aitken Nuclei Counter (UMR-AANC) in Rolla just after the described workshop showed steadily lower counts by SANDS (about 30% lower). This enables one to compare indirectly the UMR-AANC with the other counters.

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Donald E. Hagen, James L. Kassner Jr., and Ronald C. Miller

Abstract

A piston-typo expansion cloud chamber, capable of producing short pulses of nucleation, was used to study the homogeneous nucleation of water over a wide range of temperature and supersaturation. A large effort was made to remove impurities capable of acting as heterogeneous nuclei from the system. The chamber was found to be capable of performing experiments that were relatively free of interfering impurities and the results resolved several anomalous nucleation phenomena appearing in the literature: the knee in drop concentration vs supersaturation data, the temperature dependence of the critical supersaturation, and the decay of the nucleation rate with time. The anomalies were found to be due to impurities active at different temperature and supersaturation regimes.

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James L. Kassner Jr., John C. Carstens, and Louis B. Allen

Abstract

The measurement of the temperature drop in a dry Pollak condensation nucleus counter by Israel and Nix has been interpreted as an indication that the expansion process does not yield as high a supersaturation as predicted by thermodynamics. An analysis of the heat and vapor diffusion from the walls of the chamber indicates that the counter does indeed develop the supersaturations predicted by thermodynamics in the absence of dropwise condensation and that the natural sensitive time is of the order of 0.3 sec. The measurements of Israel and Nix can be explained in terms of a thermal analysis of the thermocouple itself. The seemingly rapid response of the thermocouple is an indication of the attainment of the steady-state heat flow from the thermocouple and is not an indication that the thermocouple is reading the temperature of the ambient gas accurately. Moreover, the anomalous temperature drop observed about 1 sec after the expansion marks the point at which convection currents sweep away the heated gas which has accumulated immediately adjacent to the thermocouple.

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Donald E. Hagen, Rodney J. Anderson, and James L. Kassner Jr.

Abstract

Experimental data on ice nucleation, presented in an earlier paper, are analyzed to yield information about the homogeneous nucleation rate of ice from supercooled liquid and the heights of energy barriers to that nucleation. The experiment consisted of using an expansion cloud chamber to nucleate from the vapor a cloud of supercooled pure water drops and the observation of the fraction of drops which subsequently froze. The analysis employed standard classical homogeneous nucleation theory. The data are used to extract the first experimental measurement (albeit indirect) of the activation energy for the transfer of a water molecule across the liquid-ice interface at temperatures near −40°C. The results provide further evidence that the local liquid structure becomes more icelike as the temperature is lowered.

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Rodney J. Anderson, Ronald C. Miller, James L. Kassner Jr., and Donald E. Hagen

Abstract

Observations of the homogeneous nucleation of water vapor in an expansion cloud chamber have been carried out for the temperature range −50 to +17°C in the carrier gases argon and helium. We have found that the onset of the ice phase in freshly nucleated drops always occurs in the form of a two-stage process, condensation followed by homogeneous freezing at temperatures near −40°C. Ice particles appear as brilliant spherical particles in the cloud of liquid drops which scatter much less light. The critical gas temperature associated with the observation of ice nucleation depends on the type of carrier gas, the duration of the minimum final temperature, and whether there are ions or re-evaporation nuclei present. These effects and the analysis of the total homogeneous nucleation rate (liquid drops plus ice particles) strongly support the conclusion that the ice particles result from the freezing of liquid water drops which have been nucleated homogeneously from the vapor phase. A somewhat higher critical freezing temperature is observed in the absence of an electric clearing field. This probably is an indication that ice particles preferentially form on ions or simply that droplets which nucleate slightly earlier on ions have a chance to grow to a larger size, thus increasing the droplets’ probability of freezing. An ice memory effect has also been observed in nucleation which occurs on re-evaporation nuclei remaining from previous expansions. lens and re-evaporation nuclei raise the threshold temperature of ice nucleation about 1 and 2°C, respectively, above the critical spontaneous freezing temperature (−41°C). Consequently, they would be expected to have little impact on atmospheric processes.

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