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Vapor cones and mach cones

A vapor cone, also known as shock collar or shock egg, is a visible cloud of condensed water which can sometimes form around an object moving at high speed through moist air, for example an aircraft flying at transonic speeds.

FA-18 Hornet breaking sound barrier July 1999 US Navy

When the localized air pressure around the object drops, so does the air temperature. If the temperature drops below the saturation temperature a cloud forms.

prandtl glauert vapor cloud Mach
In the case of aircraft, the cloud is caused by supersonic expansion fans decreasing the air pressure, density and temperature below the dew point. Then pressure, density and temperature suddenly increase across the stern shock wave associated with a return to subsonic flow behind the aircraft. Since the local Mach number is not uniform over the aircraft, parts of the aircraft may be supersonic while others remain subsonic — a flight regime called transonic flight.


 

A vapor cone is caused by the formation of so-called ‘Prandtl–Meyer’ expansion fans, which temporarily decrease the air pressure, density and temperature below the air’s dew point. It is not the same thing as the Mach Cone (which is an invisible pressure front), but the two often occur in tandem, allowing us to pretend that we have just seen the sound barrier broken. In this incredible clip of a Boeing F/A-18 Hornet flying at a height of 25 feet, you can see both the Vapor Cone and evidence of the Mach Cone on the surface of the water…

http://physicsfootnotes.com/vapor-cone-versus-mach-cone/

 

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Triple point

The following is from the Learner.Org Chemistry course https://www.learner.org/courses/chemistry/about/about.html

Once the gas laws were formulated, chemists could analyze how materials transitioned from one phase to another, and how temperature and pressure affected these changes.

In 1897, a British metallurgist named Sir William Chandler Roberts-Austen (1843–1902) produced what is widely regarded as an early form of a now-common tool in chemistry and related disciplines: the phase diagram.

Modern phase diagrams show relationships between different states of matter under various combinations of temperature and pressure.

A substance can exist in two different states at once—for example, as a liquid and a gas, with molecules cycling from one state to the other.

It is also possible for a material to be both solid and liquid, with both melting and freezing taking place at its edges, or to exist as a solid and a gas.

Phase diagrams show what forms a substance will take under given temperatures and pressure levels, and where these equilibrium lines (when equal numbers of molecules are changing form in both directions) are located. (Figure 2-11)

Figure 2-11. Generic Phase Diagram for a Single Substance © Science Media Group. https://www.learner.org/courses/chemistry/text/text.html?dis=U&num=Ym5WdElUQS9NeW89&sec=YzJWaklUQS9OeW89

Figure 2-11. Generic Phase Diagram for a Single Substance
© Science Media Group.
https://www.learner.org/courses/chemistry/text/text.html?dis=U&num=Ym5WdElUQS9NeW89&sec=YzJWaklUQS9OeW89

Amazing: See a flask of liquid cyclohexane brought to the brink of its triple-point:
suddenly it can boil and freeze at the same time.

http://physicsfootnotes.com/triple-point/

A volumetric flask containing liquid cyclohexane is depressurized to a very low pressure by a turbo-molecular vacuum pump. The rapid drop in pressure results in a rapid drop in temperature, causing the substance to temporarily freeze, but the system is unstable, flirting with the triple point (a point of pressure and temperature at which a substance is simultaneously solid, liquid, and gas). The result is a fluctuation between all three states of matter, in a spectacular display of chemistry and physics in action.

http://physicsfootnotes.com/triple-point/