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Stimulated Heterogeneous Nucleation of Supercooled Liquid H2 Droplets

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The properties of H2 droplets formed by condensation in a supersonic freejet were probed by the capture and coagulation of CO molecules for the purpose of determining whether the droplets are liquid or solid. The CO was introduced into the H2 droplets by passing the droplet beam through a scattering chamber containing CO at room temperature and various pressures. Reduction of droplet size as a result of droplet collisions with CO molecules was determined by measuring the droplet size downstream from the scattering region for several different values of the CO pressure. The size of the embedded clusters formed by coagulation of the captured CO molecules was determined from the mass spectra measured for several values of CO pressure in the scattering chamber. A comparison of a the observed dramatic loss of about 7 of the H2 molecules from a droplet after between 2 and 8 collisions with b the loss predicted due to evaporationsublimation in the event of solidification is taken to be compelling evidence that the H2 droplets were liquid prior to their collisions with the CO scattering gas. The observed dependence of the maximum CO cluster size on the collision frequency appears to indicate that a sufficiently high collision frequency will liquify a droplet which otherwise would be solid. This observation supports the conclusion that the H2 droplets are solidified as a consequence of heterogeneous nucleation induced by the captured CO molecules. The evidence in favor of a liquid state. coupled with the estimated 4K droplet temperature, suggest strongly that the supercooled H2 droplets are superfluid.

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  • Hydrology, Limnology and Potamology
  • Thermodynamics

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