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What is the science behind sandcastles?

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  • Jan 29, 2021

Finally the researchers become successful to answer this half old puzzle of why always the capillary condensation is hard to observe and why it is a fundamentally a microscopic phenomenon which involves few layers of waters and how this is so stable. If it is the law of physics or some kind of magical fantasia happening all the time. It is very difficult to described reasonably using microscopic equations and macroscopic characteristics of bulk water. Inside the porous substance and material the water vapor constantly begins to condense because of the pores present in it the water vapors generally comes from the ambient air which settles and condense. Since the liquid layer is being a few molecules thick this ubiquitous phenomenon has somewhere lacked understanding and knowledge of it.

Researchers at The University of Manchester led by Nobel Laureate Andre Geim who, with Kostya Novoselov, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics 10 years ago this month have made artificial capillaries small enough for water vapor to condense inside them under normal, ambient conditions. The researchers have made these artificial capillaries which are very much small in size and the purpose for making it very small due to size of the water vapors.

Talking about the phenomenon of capillary condensation, the textbook process is omnipresent in the world around us, and such important properties which you must have studied in your school days and which are used in everyday life by almost every creature present on this planet. Properties are friction, adhesion, stiction, lubcrication and corrosion are highly affected by capillary condensation. In most of the technological process this phenomenon is important which is used by microelectronics, pharmaceutical, food and other industries and even sandcastles could not be built by children and the families on beech. They couldn’t enjoy the dream of having their own home if this process of capillary condensation is not present in the nature. Scientifically it is described by the 150 year old kelvin equation that has been proved to be exactly correct and remarkably trusted even for the capillaries as small as 10 nanometers, which is almost equal to the thousands of human hair’s width. Still for condensation to occur in a room temperature or you can say in a very normal conditions of say 30% to 50% then the size of capillaries should be varied and it should be decreased by 1 nm in size. This is comparable with the size of water molecules but it is very small.