Phase-change radiation: Enhanced infrared absorption in vapor-liquid water mixtures

Kuo Ting Wang, M. Quinn Brewster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Phase-change radiation is studied in water clouds undergoing liquid-vapor phase transitions. Radiant energy transmission in the midinfrared (3.1-4.95 μm) spectrum is measured in vapor-liquid mixtures of water at 1 atm and 60°C. Monte Carlo analysis of radiative heat transfer is performed to assess the contribution of infrared absorption associated with evaporative phase transition, for which a theoretical description is developed. The probability of absorptive, phase-change radiative relaxation is found to be on the order of 5 × 10-8 per collision between a water vapor molecule and a liquidwaterdroplet,which leads to a surface absorptionefficiency of order 0.02 to 0.06 inthe 3.1-4.95 μm spectrum. Thereby, absorption ofmidinfrared radiation is slightly enhanced by evaporative absorption in water clouds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)447-457
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of thermophysics and heat transfer
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes
  • Space and Planetary Science


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