Results From the Physics of Colloids Experiment on ISS
Weitz DA, et al. (2002). "Results From the Physics of Colloids Experiment on ISS."
The Physics of Colloids in Space (PCS) experiment was launched on Space Shuttle STS-100 in April 2001 and integrated into EXpedite the PRocess of Experiments to Space Station Rack 2 on the International Space Station (ISS). This microgravity fluid physics investigation is being conducted in the ISS U.S. Lab ‘Destiny’ Module over a period of approximately thirteen months during the ISS assembly period from flight 6A through flight 9A. PCS is gathering data on the basic physical properties of simple colloidal suspensions by studying the structures that form. A colloid is a micron or sub-micron particle, be it solid, liquid, or gas. A colloidal suspension consists of these fine particles suspended in another medium. Common colloidal suspensions include paints, milk, salad dressings, cosmetics, and aerosols. Though these products are routinely produced and used, we still have much to learn about their behavior as well as the underlying properties of colloids in general. The long-term goal of the PCS investigation is to learn how to steer the growth of colloidal structures to create new materials. This experiment is the first part of a two-stage investigation conceived by Professor David Weitz of Harvard University (the Principal Investigator) along with Professor Peter Pusey of the University of Edinburgh (the Co-Investigator). This paper describes the flight hardware, experiment operations, and initial science findings of the first fluid physics payload to be conducted on ISS: The Physics of Colloids in Space.