A new apparatus has been developed to measure the thermal diffusivity of liquids by the forced Rayleigh scattering method with a carbon dioxide laser. In order to develop a practical forced Rayleigh scattering apparatus applicable to a wide range of substances and conditions, a free-surface heating technique has been invented. The thermal diffusivity of molten carbonates (Li2CO3, Na2CO3, and K2CO3) in the temperature range up to 1445 K has been measured. The accuracy was estimated to be 8%-17%, depending on the carbonate measured.
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