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Proceedings Paper

Search for gravitational effects in diffusion
Author(s): J. C. Clunie; M. L. Lewis; D. T. Albright; James K. Baird
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Paper Abstract

We have measured the rate of diffusion of aqueous CuSO4 into pure water across a free liquid interface both on the ground and in 'microgravity' aboard the STS-43 mission of the Space Shuttle. Because both experiments were carried out under isothermal conditions with the CuSO4 solution on the bottom and the pure water on the top, there was no obvious source of buoyancy. Moreover, the expected decrease in the diffusion coefficient due to hydrostatic pressure diffusion of CuSO4 was two orders of magnitude less than the experimental error, which was 3-4 percent. Thus, within this error, our experiments show that there is not effect of gravity on diffusion in the case of a gravitationally stabilized, isothermal liquid. This is in contrast to the results obtained by others using melts under non-isothermal conditions where effects as large as 10 percent have been reported.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 July 1996
PDF: 3 pages
Proc. SPIE 2809, Space Processing of Materials, (12 July 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.244336
Show Author Affiliations
J. C. Clunie, Univ. of Alabama in Huntsville (United States)
M. L. Lewis, Univ. of Alabama in Huntsville (United States)
D. T. Albright, Univ. of Alabama in Huntsville (United States)
James K. Baird, Univ. of Alabama in Huntsville (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2809:
Space Processing of Materials
Narayanan Ramachandran, Editor(s)

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