Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Perpetual rain machine

Was looking at stuff about phase transitions and wondered about glass. Without using many polysylabilistic words. If you cool something down quick enough and its viscosity reduces in a uniform manner if should become a glass. Glass then is like a single crystal, but without any sharp edges. It will still look like it is a fluid because the outside edges are defined by its surface tension when it was a liquid. In all respects it will appear as a liquid that has been frozen in time.

So possibly this will be a phenomenon that occurs at the same time as when trying to make cold light.

It seems glass isn’t a proper state of matter, it’s an Amorphous Solid, like jelly and kind of stuck in between being a liquid and a solid. Apparently it’s a dynamic thing and depends on the pressure and how fast the cooling rate was. In the end glass should be solid, brittle and have no internal diffraction surfaces (ie. can see through it). Apparently if you cool it enough it will have to shatter to for crystals because they are more stable at lower temperatures, eventually the stability difference will be enough to break the glass.

Then I was wondering what would it be if you got stuck between a liquid and a gas? I suppose it would depend on the vapour pressure. Imagining a Kg of H2O, that is neither fully evaporated into steam, nor is it cooled into water. The temperature and pressure would have to be uniform and precisely controlled. I suppose it would look like a mist or rain that doesn’t fall. The steam would condense into raindrops, but then evaporate before gravity takes hold.

Hmm, I wonder if anybody has tried to make a rain machine like that? It would have to be tall to allow for a temperature difference to occur. The sides would have to be clear to see what is happening and hydrophobic to stop the water precipitation on the sides. Would need some sort of heater on the bottom to boil the water and a freezer on the top to remove heat from there. The whole vessel would have to be pretty tall.

So then at the bottom the water would be boiled to steam and disappear. Probably have to be an electric element that can be turned off automatically when there is no liquid.

Then the invisible steam will travel up to the top with all the heat from the heater. At the top there may be too much heat for the steam to precipitate so a cooling device may be required. But the vapour mustn’t freeze on the walls. Then when droplets form they would fall down towards the heater as far as the heat will allow them to.