1. Not finding help here? Sign up for a free 30min tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Isotope fractionation with condensation

  1. Jan 31, 2014 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data


    I'm really confused about this concept. I know that when you evaporate a liquid, heavier isotopes stay behind because it's easier to evaporate lighter isotopes. This is intuitive to me.

    I'm confused on the case of condensation because I'm reading two things that seem to contradict each other. In one source, "heavier isotopes of oxygen are selectively precipitated from an air mass as temperature decreases." This seems to be intuitive to me in the same way as evaporation. As temperature decreases, heavier isotopes would condense first.


    However, in another source I'm reading, "partial condensation can produce isotopically light condensates" .... I asked my professor about this, and he says that this is because lighter elements are moving faster, so they hit surfaces more often than heavier, so they condense first. It's still intuitive to me to think that heavy isotopes have lower energy so they are just easier to slow down into the condensed state.


    Am I missing something? Is there certain situations where heavy things condense first and others where lighter things condense first?




    2. Relevant equations



    3. The attempt at a solution
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 31, 2014 #2
    And in relation to this topic, why is it that fayalite (iron rich silicate) evaporates faster than forsterite (magnesium rich silicate) from an olivine solid solution?
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted



Similar Discussions: Isotope fractionation with condensation
  1. Isotope exchange (Replies: 1)

  2. Isotope problem (Replies: 2)

  3. Isotope percentages (Replies: 2)

  4. Bromine isotopes (Replies: 2)

Loading...