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Microwave resonator investigation of electric field effects on mercury surfaces. Ionides, George Nicos


The microwave resonator method for studying small amplitude surface waves in liquids has been improved by making the time measurement more accurate and much more convenient. It was used to measure the oscillation frequency of the surface as a function of liquid depth. Discrepancies between the experimentally obtained results and theoretical predictions due to the rigidity of the mercury meniscus where contact is made with the walls of a cylindrical resonator were found. From these an accurate value for the effective reduction in radius of the resonator because of the meniscus effect was obtained. A method was developed for applying strong electrostatic fields (about 20 kV/cm) onto the fluid surface without interfering with the measuring technique. An interesting result of this was the observation that the field cleans the surface from contamination. This phenomenon manifests itself in a marked reduction in the damping of surface waves just after a large field is applied. A resonator of square cross-section was used to demonstrate the Fourier analyzing property of rectangular resonators.

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