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Period of Oscillatory Motion of a Camphor Boat Determined by the Dissolution and Diffusion of Camphor Molecules

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posted on 06.02.2018, 00:00 by Ryoichi Tenno, You Gunjima, Miyu Yoshii, Hiroyuki Kitahata, Jerzy Gorecki, Nobuhiko J. Suematsu, Satoshi Nakata
Here, we investigated the oscillatory motion of a camphor boat on water to clarify how the dynamics of camphor concentration profile determines the period of oscillation. The boat, which was made of a plastic plate and a camphor disk, was glued below the plate at a distance from the edge. The dependence of oscillation period on temperature and viscosity of the water phase was measured in experiments. We reproduced the experimental results by calculating the period of oscillatory motion by considering the experimental values of physicochemical parameters describing the time evolution of camphor concentration profile and the friction acting on a boat, such as diffusion and dissolution rates of camphor, viscosity of the water phase, and the threshold concentration of camphor necessary to accelerate the boat from the resting state. The increase in the period of oscillatory motion at low temperatures was explained by the reduced dissolution rate of camphor into the water phase.

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