Aitken nucleus


Ait·​ken nucleus ˈāt-kən- How to pronounce Aitken nucleus (audio)
: a microscopic aerosol particle in the atmosphere that encourages condensation to gather into a droplet
Using air samples collected from a 65-foot tower in a eucalyptus forest in Portugal, the researchers found an abundance of tiny aerosols, known as Aitken nuclei, that could only have been produced locally.Henry Fountain, New York Times, 3 Nov. 1998

Word History


after John Aitken †1919 Scottish meteorologist and engineer

First Known Use

1906, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Aitken nucleus was in 1906

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Dictionary Entries Near Aitken nucleus

Cite this Entry

“Aitken nucleus.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

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