Anisimov, Sengers, Fuentevilla and St. Pierre at ICPWS

ChBE professors Mikhail Anisimov and Jan Sengers served as session chairs for a symposium titled "Nonequilibrium, Metastable and Critical States" at the 15th International Conference on the Properties of Water and Steam (ICPWS), held in Berlin, Germany in September 2008. Also in attendance were two of Anisimov's advisees, graduate students Daphne Fuentevilla, who delivered a talk titled "Thermodynamics of the critical behavior of supercooled water," and Heather St. Pierre, who spoke on "Interfacial concentration profiles in aqueous systems near the critical point of steam". Fuentevilla won the conference's best student presentation award.

Fuentevilla discussed work done in collaboration with Anisimov related to the relatively recent discovery of a possible second critical point of water under supercooled conditions. While this critical point cannot be seen directly, Fuentevilla is able to infer its location by applying a sophisticated theory of fluctuations, which in turn has produced, according to Sengers, "an elegant description of the anomalous behavior of compressibility, thermal-expansion coefficient and specific heat capacity of supercooled water."

St. Pierre demonstrated how a new concept, developed with Anisimov and called "complete scaling", makes it possible to determine concentration profiles in droplets of aqueous systems. Droplet formation occurs frequently in turbine engines, so a better understanding of their properties and behavior is extremely important.

Also at this year's ICPWS, a new international standard for calculating the viscosity of water and steam, which Sengers helped develop as part of a team of international researchers, was adopted by a unanimous vote of delegates representing countries that are members of the International Association for the Properties of Water and Steam (IAPWS). The standard has been published as the Formulation 2008 for the Viscosity of Ordinary Water Substance.

While in Germany, Sengers also presented an invited lecture at a special symposium at the University of Bremen on the occasion of the retirement of Professor Wolffram Schroeer, titled "Light scattering of fluctuations in polymer and electrolyte solutions".

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Published September 24, 2008