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Title: Review of the gas centrifuge until 1962. Part I: Principles of separation physics

Abstract

There are two sets of principles involved in the development of the gas centrifuge, the internal separation physics and the external means of spinning a rotor at very high speeds. Only the first aspect is discussed in this part of the review. First, the industrial requirement for the separation of the uranium isotopes is defined so that the separation history can be put in a modern perspective. The history of separation physics itself is then traced back to the theory of centrifugal force by Huygens and the equivalence of this force to that of gravity. The barometric equation giving the variation of atmospheric pressure with height and the law of partial pressures can then be adapted to the centrifuge to give the steady-state theory of separation. This work was completed in the last century but was not confirmed in its application to isotope separation until 1936. The detailed separation physics for non-steady-state conditions required for a production centrifuge was developed during the American wartime Manhattan Project. During this work the theory giving the maximum output of a centrifuge was developed by Dirac, and soon afterwards Cohen and Kaplan showed that the best method of operation for a production centrifuge ismore » in a countercurrent mode of operation. This method gives a large separation factor at relatively small flow rates through the rotor. The theory of how to set up an internal countercurrent was given by Martin during an equivalent wartime German project, and refinements to the theory, showing how the countercurrent persists along a centrifuge rotor, was given by Dirac and Steenbeck, the latter during a postwar Russian project. This theory was extended by Parker, Ging, and Mayo of the University of Virginia, whose work was completed by 1962, the limit of this review.« less

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
British Nuclear Fuels Limited, Capenhurst Works, Chester, England
OSTI Identifier:
5230860
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Rev. Mod. Phys.; (United States)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 56:1
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
07 ISOTOPES AND RADIATION SOURCES; 11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; GAS CENTRIFUGES; REVIEWS; ISOTOPE SEPARATION; GAS CENTRIFUGATION; URANIUM ISOTOPES; DIFFUSION; EFFICIENCY; ENTROPY; MANHATTAN PROJECT; OPTIMIZATION; PRESSURE DEPENDENCE; ROTORS; SEDIMENTATION; STABILIZATION; STEADY-STATE CONDITIONS; ACTINIDE ISOTOPES; CENTRIFUGATION; CENTRIFUGES; CONCENTRATORS; DOCUMENT TYPES; ISOTOPES; PHYSICAL PROPERTIES; SEPARATION PROCESSES; THERMODYNAMIC PROPERTIES; 070100* - Physical Isotope Separation; 050502 - Nuclear Fuels- Uranium Enrichment- Centrifugation- (-1989)

Citation Formats

Whitley, S. Review of the gas centrifuge until 1962. Part I: Principles of separation physics. United States: N. p., 1984. Web. doi:10.1103/RevModPhys.56.41.
Whitley, S. Review of the gas centrifuge until 1962. Part I: Principles of separation physics. United States. doi:10.1103/RevModPhys.56.41.
Whitley, S. Sun . "Review of the gas centrifuge until 1962. Part I: Principles of separation physics". United States. doi:10.1103/RevModPhys.56.41.
@article{osti_5230860,
title = {Review of the gas centrifuge until 1962. Part I: Principles of separation physics},
author = {Whitley, S},
abstractNote = {There are two sets of principles involved in the development of the gas centrifuge, the internal separation physics and the external means of spinning a rotor at very high speeds. Only the first aspect is discussed in this part of the review. First, the industrial requirement for the separation of the uranium isotopes is defined so that the separation history can be put in a modern perspective. The history of separation physics itself is then traced back to the theory of centrifugal force by Huygens and the equivalence of this force to that of gravity. The barometric equation giving the variation of atmospheric pressure with height and the law of partial pressures can then be adapted to the centrifuge to give the steady-state theory of separation. This work was completed in the last century but was not confirmed in its application to isotope separation until 1936. The detailed separation physics for non-steady-state conditions required for a production centrifuge was developed during the American wartime Manhattan Project. During this work the theory giving the maximum output of a centrifuge was developed by Dirac, and soon afterwards Cohen and Kaplan showed that the best method of operation for a production centrifuge is in a countercurrent mode of operation. This method gives a large separation factor at relatively small flow rates through the rotor. The theory of how to set up an internal countercurrent was given by Martin during an equivalent wartime German project, and refinements to the theory, showing how the countercurrent persists along a centrifuge rotor, was given by Dirac and Steenbeck, the latter during a postwar Russian project. This theory was extended by Parker, Ging, and Mayo of the University of Virginia, whose work was completed by 1962, the limit of this review.},
doi = {10.1103/RevModPhys.56.41},
journal = {Rev. Mod. Phys.; (United States)},
number = ,
volume = 56:1,
place = {United States},
year = {1984},
month = {1}
}