Abstract

The extended meniscus and the intermolecular and capillary forces that govern its behavior and connection to change-of-phase heat transfer have been the subject of an increasing body of research over the past 50 years. We have been fortunate to be at the forefront of this effort starting from the development of a capillary feeder, in Earth's gravity, to stabilize film boiling to running a series of transparent heat pipe experiments aboard the International space station hoping to better understand the role of intermolecular forces in microgravity. The use of ellipsometry and interferometry to highlight the location and state of the vapor–liquid interface have been key to these studies and have helped to uncover many new, interesting, and sometimes unexpected phenomena associated with fluid flow and change-of-phase heat transfer.

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