In spallation neutron sources, liquid mercury, upon adsorbing the proton beam, is exhibited to large thermal and pressure shocks. These local changes in the state of mercury can cause the formation of unstable bubbles in the liquid, which can damage at their collapse the enclosing the liquid solid material. While there are methods to deal with the pressure shock, the local temperature shock cannot be avoided. In our paper we calculated the work of the critical cluster formation (for mercury micro-bubbles) together with the rate of their formation (nucleation rate). It is shown that the homogeneous nucleation rates are very low at the considered process conditions even after adsorbing several proton pulses, therefore, the probability of temperature induced homogeneous bubble nucleation is negligible.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics