Clusius column

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A device for separating isotopes by thermal diffusion. One form consists of a vertical column some 30 metres high with a heated electric wire running along its axis. The lighter isotopes in a gaseous mixture of isotopes diffuse faster than the heavier isotopes. Heated by the axial wire, and assisted by natural convection, the lighter atoms are carried to the top of the column, where a fraction rich in lighter isotopes can be removed for further enrichment.

Subjects: Chemistry — Physics.

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