How Everything Works
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QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
 
Question 485

Is it possible to create a "fog" in a small enclosed area without using dry ice or ultrasound?
The two techniques you mention, dry ice and ultrasound, are both intended to make tiny droplets of water in the air, effectively producing an artificial cloud. While I can't think of any better ways to make such water droplets, I can think of ways to make fogs of other materials. Tiny particles of any clear material will work because what you are seeing is the random scattering of light as it's partially reflected from the front and back surfaces of clear particles. I'd suggest a chemical process that produces tiny clear particles. The easiest one I can think of is to place a dish of household ammonia (ammonium hydroxide—ammonia gas dissolved in water) and a dish of hydrochloric acid (hydrogen chloride gas dissolved in water, sold as muriatic acid by hardware stores) in your enclosed area. The two gases will diffuse throughout your enclosure and react to form tiny clear particles of ammonium chloride. The enclosure will fill with a dense white fog. The particles are so small, that they will remain in the air for a very long time, but they will eventually settle on surfaces and leave a white powdery residue. So, unlike a water fog, this chemical fog is a little messy. You shouldn't breathe the fog, either.
         

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