Abstract

The evaporation rate of water drops (~1.0–2.5-mm diameter) suspended in a CO2 laser beam has been measured using an optical technique involving fixed-angle forward-scattering observations of the expanding diffraction pattern. The results show a dr/dt ≈ 1.6-μm-sec−1 increase over the natural evaporation rate that is due to the internal particle heating produced by 10.6-μm energy absorption at an irradiance of ~1.65 W cm−2. Drop temperature records and dr/dt fluctuations over 30-μm-radius increments indicate a quasi-steady-state evaporation process in which free convection and internal drop circulation are important temperature-regulating mechanisms.

© 1981 Optical Society of America

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