condensation nucleus

condensation nucleus
nucleus (def. 5).

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      tiny suspended particle, either solid or liquid, upon which water vapour condensation begins in the atmosphere. Its diameter may range from a few microns to a few tenths of a micron (one micron equals 10-4 centimetre). There are much smaller nuclei in the atmosphere, called Aitken nuclei, but they ordinarily play no role in cloud formation because they do not induce condensation unless the air is highly supersaturated with water vapour. Nuclei that have diameters of several microns and are composed of a hygroscopic, or moisture-attracting, substance (e.g., sea salt) are called giant condensation nuclei.

      Most condensation nuclei are produced by natural and man-made fires over land and by wave action over the oceans. When mixed with the more hygroscopic material, dust and soil particles blown into the atmosphere also are sources of nuclei. See also nucleation.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • condensation nucleus — noun : a small particle (as of dust) upon which water vapor condenses in the atmosphere * * * Meteorol. nucleus (def. 5). [1910 15] * * * condensation nucleus, Meteorology. a particle upon which water vapor condenses; nucleus: »Condensation… …   Useful english dictionary

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  • condensation nucleus —    A small solid particle around which condensation occurs [16] …   Lexicon of Cave and Karst Terminology

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  • condensation — condensational, adj. condensative, adj. /kon den say sheuhn, deuhn /, n. 1. the act of condensing; the state of being condensed. 2. the result of being made more compact or dense. 3. reduction of a book, speech, statement, or the like, to a… …   Universalium

  • nucleus — /ˈnjukliəs / (say nyoohkleeuhs) noun (plural nuclei /ˈnjukliaɪ/ (say nyoohkleeuy) or nucleuses) 1. a central part or thing about which other parts or things are grouped. 2. anything constituting a central part, foundation, or beginning: *There… …  

  • Cloud condensation nuclei — Aerosol pollution over Northern India and Bangladesh NASA Cloud condensation nuclei or CCNs (also known as cloud seeds) are small particles typically 0.2 µm, or 1/100 th the size of a cloud droplet [1]) about which cloud droplets coalesce. Water… …   Wikipedia

  • salt nucleus — ▪ meteorology       tiny particle in the atmosphere that is composed of a salt, either solid or in an aqueous solution; it promotes the condensation of water and thus is one form of condensation nucleus (q.v.). * * * …   Universalium

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