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Exploring Gas-Liquid Interfaces with Ballistic Helium Evaporation

Event Details

Event Dates: 

Friday, October 16, 2015 - 4:00pm

Seminar Location: 

  • JILA Auditorium

Speaker Name(s): 

Gil Nathanson

Speaker Affiliation(s): 

University of Wisconsin
Seminar Type/Subject

Scientific Seminar Type: 

  • Phys Chem/Chem Phys Seminar

Event Details & Abstract: 

The gas-liquid interface is a gateway for the solvation and evaporation of solute gases, selectively controlling the rates of transport between gas and liquid. We can explore how gases dissolve by monitoring their evaporation because these pathways are just the reverse of each other. Among all solutes, helium atoms are special – they evaporate in super-Maxwellian speed distributions that change with the identity of the liquid. In collaboration with my theory colleague Jim Skinner, we use this “ballistic” evaporation to explore the forces that expel the He atom from the liquid at high speeds. These evaporation studies open a new window into viewing the motions of solvent and solute species in the interfacial region. Our experiments couple molecular beam scattering methods with liquid microjets of high-vapor pressure liquids such as jet fuel and pure and salty water. These microjets are thinner than the hair on your head. I will show pictures of these jets and discuss how we can investigate such fleeting filaments of liquid in vacuum.