11-2 Critical Temperature

Description: A pressure chamber containing liquid sulfur hexafluoride is warmed to the critical temperature of the SF6. A camera is aimed at a window in the chamber and students can watch as the boundary between the liquid and gaseous phases blurs and eventually disappears. Concept: Critical temperature is the temperature above which there is no distinction between the liquid phase and vapor phase of a substance. Above this temperature ( !.!°C"# the SF6 exists as a supercritical fluid$ maintaining the density of the liquid# but with the flow characteristics of a gas. %he pressure chamber used in this experiment is about half full of a liquefied gas# sulfur hexafluoride (SF6." From manufacturer’s notes: “As the temperature increases, condensate begins to form and run down the glass panes; a further temperature increase causes the water [we think they should have said sulfur hexafluoride?] to boil, i e vapor emerges from the volume !he li"uid, which is no longer homogenous due to the gas bubbles, diffuses the incident light As a result, the pro#ected image becomes darker $hen the critical temperature is reached, the li"uid boils vigorously !he phase boundary between the li"uid and the gas becomes unstable, and the image becomes almost completely dark %inally, the phase boundary disappears completely !he image becomes lighter again, as the chamber once again contains a homogenous phase $hen the temperature is increased further, we only observe formation of a condensation film on the flat glass panes & Note: %hough the description above mentions the use of a light to pro&ect the events ta'ing place in the chamber# the demonstration is instead observed by use of a camera and the pro&ection equipment available in the lecture hall. Materials: • (ressure Chamber for Critical %emperature containing liquid SF6 • Steam generator made from the following$ ∗ !))*m+ round bottomed flas' ∗ ,eating mantle to fit round bottomed flas' ∗ -ne*holed stopper to fit round bottomed flas' ∗ .+/ shaped glass tubing in stopper ∗ %ygon or rubber tubing (6 mm diameter# ).! m long" attached to the .+/ shaped glass tubing • Additional tygon or rubber tubing (6 mm diameter# ).! m long" • 0+ 1rlenmeyer flas' • 0 ring stands and an extra pole attached perpendicular to both stands • %hermal gloves for handling steam • %hermometer of pro&ectable temperature probe • 2iscam
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• Chec' that all tubing is seated securely. 5hen the fluid nears the critical temperature# a fog will briefly appear near the phase boundary. 5hen you are ready for the demonstration (and there is steam coming from the tube connected to the flas'"# connect the tubing to the pressure chamber to begin heating the SF6. Safety: • -nly heat the pressure chamber with steam or a circulated water flow without excessive pressure (never use a flame or hotplate7" • %he heating mantle# steam bath# tubing# and pressure chamber will become very hot7 5hen connecting the steam to the chamber# wear thermal gloves and be sure not the point the tubing towards you.Procedure: Construct the equipment to match the diagram below$ Start with both the tube from the round bottomed flas' and the tube coming from the chamber inserted in the 1rlenmeyer. 4egin heating the water in the flas' about 3) minutes before you wish to show the demonstration. 6f students are not watching throughout the entire process# the appearance of this fog serves as a good indicator that the phase change is about to ta'e place. 6f students miss this event# it is possible to quic'ly reverse the process by disconnecting the steam and rubbing ice cubes over the chamber to cool it. 33*0 . 6f desired# you may monitor the temperature using a thermometer or pro&ectable temperature probe inserted in the hole shown in the pressure chamber diagram on the next page. • 8o not loosen the screw plug of the filling opening for the liquefied gas# as the chamber is under pressure (see diagram below for location of this screw". %he condensing can be &ust a fascinating to watch as the boiling. -ver the next ! minutes or so# the SF6 will begin to boil# and the amount of bubbles visible in the liquid will gradually increase.

6.3 Screw holes for stand rod. Screw plug for liquefied*gas filling opening (do not open7". (ressure*resistant view windows on both sides.eating channel inlet and outlet as hose fitting (.oles for thermometer and temperature sensor. mm diameter". 3. :. .• 8o not heat the chamber above 9)°C# so as to ensure the longest possible service life of the gas. 33*0 . . Steel pressure chamber filled with liquefied gas# SF6# with heating channel integrated in steel casing. . 0. !.