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Nucleation of Freezing by Cavitation in Sub-cooled Bismuth and Gallium

Naturevolume 207page742 (1965) | Download Citation



IN the article entitled “Nucleation of Freezing by Cavity Collapse and its Relation to Cavitation Damage”1, it was stated that there was experimental evidence to support the suggestion that freezing in substances such as bismuth, germanium, gallium and silicon (the freezing points of which diminish with pressure up to relatively high compressions) may not be nucleated by cavitation. The complete basis for this comment was not provided and it is clear that an additional explanation is necessary. To my knowledge, no experiments involving the use of ultrasonically generated cavitation have been performed on these substances in their sub-cooled liquid states. The statement was based instead on information regarding other forms of treatment that normally induce dynamic nucleation. Apparently both sub-cooled gallium2 and bismuth3 are known to be surprisingly immune to such treatment. I believe that all dynamic nucleation is due to cavitation. The behaviour of gallium and bismuth is taken, therefore, to indicate that they are immune to the nucleating effects of cavitation, no matter how it is generated. Such a conclusion is obviously open to debate. The real test would seem to lie in the ultrasonic cavitation experiments.

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  1. 1

    Hickling, R., Nature, 206, 4987 (1965).

  2. 2

    Roellig, L. O. (personal communication).

  3. 3

    Glicksman, M. E. (personal communication).

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  1. Research Laboratories, General Motors Corporation, Warren, Michigan



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