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The Dynamics of Condensation and Vaporization


Gilmore, Forrest Richard (1951) The Dynamics of Condensation and Vaporization. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/K9PG-JT41.


The condensation process in supersaturated vapors is analyzed with the help of thermodynamics and kinetic theory. The simplifying approximations which make the problem tractable are carefully examined. Results are obtained for the steady rate of condensation which constitute a theoretical improvement over Becker and Doring's values. The uncertainties in the values of the free energy for very small droplets, which are only partially removed by Tolman's theory on the variation of surface tension with curvature, limit this improvement in the condensation theory. Nonsteady condensation situations are also treated in detail by means of numerical and graphical integrations. It is found that the condensation in such situations generally approaches a steady rate in time periods of the order of 1 to 100 microseconds. Such time periods are negligible in many physical situations, but may be significant in the case of condensation shocks in wind tunnels. A similar analysis is carried out for the boiling of superheated liquids and the rupture of liquids under tension. Approximations reduce the analysis of these processes to mathematical relations very similar to those for the condensation process. Nonsteady solutions are obtained by numerical integration. It is found that the solutions ordinarily approach a steady rate of bubble formation in less than a microsecond.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:(Physics and Mathematics)
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy
Major Option:Physics
Minor Option:Mathematics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Plesset, Milton S.
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:1 January 1951
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-12152003-104652
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:5002
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:17 Dec 2003
Last Modified:02 May 2023 16:40

Thesis Files

PDF (Gilmore_fr_1951.pdf) - Final Version
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