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Condensation Coefficient of Water


THE condensation coefficient of a liquid has been defined1 as the fraction of the number of molecules impinging on a gas–liquid interface that actually condense. It has been measured for water by many workers (for example, refs. 2–4), who have obtained values ranging from 0.003 to 1.0. The possibility that its true value might be quite low is of practical importance in the design of condensers5, and a new determination is, therefore, being made.


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  2. Alty, T., and Mackay, C. A., Proc. Roy. Soc., A, 149, 104 (1935).

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  3. Hickman, K. C. D., Indust. and Eng. Chem., 46, 1442 (1954).

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  4. Silver, R. S., and Simpson, H. C., The Condensation ef Superheated Steam 39 (H.M. Stationery Office, 1962).

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  5. Silver, R. S., Paper P14/64, presented to the Inst. Mech. Eng., London December 4, 1963.

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JAMIESON, D. Condensation Coefficient of Water. Nature 202, 583 (1964).

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