Cavitation Bubble Nucleation by Energetic Particles

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In the early sixties, experimental measurements using a bubble chamber confirmed quantitatively the thermal spike theory of bubble nucleation by energetic particles: the energy of the slow, heavy alpha decay recoils used in those experiments matched the calculated bubble nucleation energy to within a few percent. It was a triumph, but was soon to be followed by a puzzle. Within a couple of years, experiments on similar liquids, but well below their normal boiling points, placed under tensile stress showed that the calculated bubble nucleation energy was an order of magnitude less than the recoil energy. Why should the theory ... continued below

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75 Pages

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West, C.D. December 1, 1998.

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Description

In the early sixties, experimental measurements using a bubble chamber confirmed quantitatively the thermal spike theory of bubble nucleation by energetic particles: the energy of the slow, heavy alpha decay recoils used in those experiments matched the calculated bubble nucleation energy to within a few percent. It was a triumph, but was soon to be followed by a puzzle. Within a couple of years, experiments on similar liquids, but well below their normal boiling points, placed under tensile stress showed that the calculated bubble nucleation energy was an order of magnitude less than the recoil energy. Why should the theory work so well in the one case and so badly in the other? How did the liquid, or the recoil particle, "know" the difference between the two experiments? Another mathematical model of the same physical process, introduced in 1967, showed qualitatively why different analyses would be needed for liquids with high and low vapor pressures under positive or negative pressures. But, the quantitative agreement between the calculated nucleation energy and the recoil energy was still poor--the former being smaller by a factor of two to three. In this report, the 1967 analysis is extended and refined: the qualitative understanding of the difference between positive and negative pressure nucleation, "boiling" and "cavitation" respectively, is retained, and agreement between the negative pressure calculated to be needed for nucleation and the energy calculated to be available is much improved. A plot of the calculated negative pressure needed to induce bubble formation against the measured value now has a slope of 1.0, although there is still considerable scatter in the individual points.

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75 Pages

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  • Other: DE00002687
  • Report No.: ORNL/TM-13683
  • Grant Number: AC05-96OR22464
  • DOI: 10.2172/2687 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 2687
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc664406

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  • December 1, 1998

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • June 29, 2015, 9:42 p.m.

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  • Nov. 4, 2015, 2:02 p.m.

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West, C.D. Cavitation Bubble Nucleation by Energetic Particles, report, December 1, 1998; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc664406/: accessed September 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.