amphi Blandin


14 Oct 2022


11h00 - 12h00

François Boulogne – Psychrometry: History of Science, Education, and Foam Science

Laboratoire de Physique des Solides, CNRS, Université Paris-Saclay

The measurement of air humidity is of critical interest for different purposes: in meteorology; in building, the rate of humidity being directly related to comfort, the feeling of well-being; in drying processes used for food preservation, wood preparation and coating applications. Throughout history, the measurement of air humidity has represented a challenge and a broad range of techniques has been invented. Among them, the cooling effect induced by evaporation can be employed to measure the relative humidity, the so-called psychrometric method. During this seminar, I will propose an history on hygrometers and more precisely on the development of psychrometry, which started by the late 18th century for nearly 150 years of active research revealing the complexity beyond the apparent simplicity. Then, I will present how psychrometry can be used for education in a lab practical work to introduce a measurement technique and various physical concepts of fluid mechanics, heat transfer and out-of-equilibrium thermodynamics. I will end this seminar by illustrating how these concepts can be used for modern science, in particular on the question of soap film rupture.