Gravity effects in fluids near the gas liquid critical point
Michael R. Moldover, Jan V. Sengers, R W. Gammon, R Hocken
The presence of a gravitational field leads to both practical and fundamental limits of the resolution in critical phenomena experiments in fluids near the gas-liquid critical point. We present nist-equations that yield estimates of the gravitational limitations in a variety of critical phenomena experiments for a large number of fluids and as a function of the magnitude of the gravitational field. Various strategies for improving the resolution of such experiments are discussed, including procedures that remove a fluid from thermodynamic equilibrium (e.g., stirring). A comparison is made between the gravitational limitations in earth-bound experiments and those at the microgravitational levels that may become accessible in an orbiting laboratory.