Heterogeneous Freezing Nucleation in Electric Fields

J. B. Doolittle Dept. of Atmospheric Resources, University of Wyoming, Laramie 82070

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Gabor Vali Dept. of Atmospheric Resources, University of Wyoming, Laramie 82070

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Abstract

Heterogeneous freezing nucleation in electric fields was studied on samples of water containing organic nuclei or silver iodide. Electric fields of 6000 V cm−1 (dc) were applied over sets of supercooled drops supported on a silicone varnish coated surface during different time-temperature sequences. In no case was a significant difference in the nucleation rates observed due to application of the field. It is concluded from these experiments that electric fields of up to 6000 V cm−1 have no intrinsic effect on the heterogeneous freezing process and that the probability of enhanced ice nucleation in the atmosphere due to natural electric fields is quite remote.

Abstract

Heterogeneous freezing nucleation in electric fields was studied on samples of water containing organic nuclei or silver iodide. Electric fields of 6000 V cm−1 (dc) were applied over sets of supercooled drops supported on a silicone varnish coated surface during different time-temperature sequences. In no case was a significant difference in the nucleation rates observed due to application of the field. It is concluded from these experiments that electric fields of up to 6000 V cm−1 have no intrinsic effect on the heterogeneous freezing process and that the probability of enhanced ice nucleation in the atmosphere due to natural electric fields is quite remote.

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