Condensation Nucleus

Also found in: Acronyms.

condensation nucleus

[‚kän·dən′sā·shən ′nü·klē·əs]
A particle, either liquid or solid, upon which condensation of water vapor begins in the atmosphere.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Condensation Nucleus


a very small neutral or charged particle on which water vapor condenses. Without condensation nuclei, the condensation of water vapor and the formation of clouds in the atmosphere would not be possible.

Serving as condensation nuclei are hygroscopic particles that contain chlorides, sulfites, sulfides, nitrates, and nitrites. The particles range in size from 10–7 to 10–5 cm, and they are found in concentrations averaging 103 per cu cm over oceans, 104 per cu cm over rural landscapes, and approximately 1.5 × 105 per cu cm over cities; the concentration of condensation nuclei usually decreases with increasing elevation.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
List of ground-based monitoring station networks with aerosol measurements: particle number concentration N, particle number size distribution (NSD), cloud condensation nucleus concentration (CCN), speciated mass concentration/composition (Comp), black carbon mass concentration (BC), and particle mass concentration less than 2.5 //m in diameter ([PM.sub.2.5]).