The paper outlines the broad areas where studies are being conducted under microgravity conditions worldwide viz., biotechnology, combustion science, materials science and fluid physics. The paper presents in particular a review on the various areas of research being pursued in materials science. These include studies on immiscibles, eutectics, morphology development during solidification or pattern formation, nucleation phenomena, isothermal dendrite growth, macrosegregation and the behaviour of insoluble particles ahead of the solidifying interface. The latter studies are given in detail with description of case studies of experiments conducted by the author on space shuttles. In particular, the technology and the science issues are addressed. Lastly, based on the presentations, some salient features enumerating the advantages of conducting experiments under conditions of microgravity are highlighted in terms of science returns.
Key wordsMicrogravity solidification space shuttle experiments
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