Ablation near the electrode in a flashtube. The high-energy electrical arc slowly erodes the glass, leaving a frosted appearance.
An YAG laser drills a hole through a block of nitrile. The intense burst of infrared radiation ablates the highly absorbing rubber, releasing an eruption of plasma.

Removal or destruction of something from an object by vaporization, chipping, erosive processes or by other means.

- Ablation

286 related topics



Scientific study of glaciers, or more generally ice and natural phenomena that involve ice.

Lateral moraine on a glacier joining the Gorner Glacier, Zermatt, Swiss Alps. The moraine is the high bank of debris in the top left hand quarter of the image.
Glaciologist Erin Pettit in Antarctica, 2016
A kettle pond in Hossa, Suomussalmi municipality, Finland

Ablation (or wastage) zone – when the sum of melting, calving, and evaporation (sublimation) is greater than the amount of snow added each year.

Sublimation (phase transition)

Transition of a substance directly from the solid to the gas state, without passing through the liquid state.

Dark green crystals of nickelocene, sublimed and freshly deposited on a cold finger
Comparison of phase diagrams of carbon dioxide (red) and water (blue) showing the carbon dioxide sublimation point (middle-left) at 1 atmosphere. As dry ice is heated, it crosses this point along the bold horizontal line from the solid phase directly into the gaseous phase. Water, on the other hand, passes through a liquid phase at 1 atmosphere.
Dry ice subliming in air
Experimental set up for the sublimation reaction of naphthalene Solid naphthalene sublimes and form the crystal-like structure at the bottom of the watch glass
Solid compound of naphthalene sublimed to form a crystal-like structure on the cool surface.
Camphor subliming in a cold finger. The crude product in the bottom is dark brown; the white purified product on the bottom of the cold finger above is hard to see against the light background.
Crystals of ferrocene after purification by vacuum sublimation

Ablation is a process that includes sublimation and erosive wear of glacier ice.

Laser ablation

Process of removing material from a solid (or occasionally liquid) surface by irradiating it with a laser beam.

Preparation of nanoparticles by laser in solution
Laser ablation of an asteroid-like sample
Industrial 500W Cleaning Laser Narran ROD 500.

Usually, laser ablation refers to removing material with a pulsed laser, but it is possible to ablate material with a continuous wave laser beam if the laser intensity is high enough.

Passive fire protection

Components or systems of a building or structure that slows or impedes the spread the effects of fire or smoke without system activation, and usually without movement.

Fire-resistance rated wall assembly with fire door, cable tray penetration and intumescent cable coating.
This I beam has a fireproofing material sprayed onto it as a form of passive fire protection.

PFP measures also include intumescents and ablative materials.

Radiofrequency ablation

Tissue ablation using radiofrequency.
CT scan showing radiofrequency ablation of a liver lesion
Schematic view of a pulmonary vein ablation. The catheter reaches (from below) through the inferior vena cava, the right atrium and the left atrium, to the orifice of the left upper pulmonary vein.

Radiofrequency ablation (RFA), also called fulguration, is a medical procedure in which part of the electrical conduction system of the heart, tumor or other dysfunctional tissue is ablated using the heat generated from medium frequency alternating current (in the range of 350–500 kHz).

Atmospheric entry

Movement of an object from outer space into and through the gases of an atmosphere of a planet, dwarf planet, or natural satellite.

Mars Exploration Rover (MER) aeroshell, artistic rendition
Animated illustration of different phases as a meteoroid enters the Earth's atmosphere to become visible as a meteor and land as a meteorite
Early reentry-vehicle concepts visualized in shadowgraphs of high speed wind tunnel tests
Apollo command module flying with the blunt end of the heat shield at a non-zero angle of attack in order to establish a lifting entry and control the landing site (artistic rendition)
Prototype of the Mk-2 Reentry Vehicle (RV), based on blunt body theory.
Mk-6 RV, Cold War weapon and ancestor to most of the U.S. missile entry vehicles.
"Discoverer" type reconnaissance satellite film Recovery Vehicle (RV)
Galileo Probe during final assembly
The DC-X, shown during its first flight, was a prototype single stage to orbit vehicle, and used a biconic shape similar to AMaRV.
Cabin view of the Space Shuttle during STS-42 re-entry. Due to the compression and friction of the air, the molecules generate a very hot plasma which glows in the red-orange spectrum.
Ablative heat shield (after use) on Apollo 12 capsule
Mars Pathfinder during final assembly showing the aeroshell, cruise ring and solid rocket motor
NASA's Stardust sample return capsule successfully landed at the USAF Utah Range.
Deep Space 2 impactor aeroshell, a classic 45° sphere-cone with spherical section afterbody enabling aerodynamic stability from atmospheric entry to surface impact
Astronaut Andrew S. W. Thomas takes a close look at TPS tiles underneath Space Shuttle Atlantis.
Rigid black LI-900 tiles were used on the Space Shuttle.
The Mercury capsule design (shown here with its escape tower) originally used a radiatively cooled TPS, but was later converted to an ablative TPS.
NASA engineers check IRVE.
Genesis entry vehicle after crash
IXV once landed
Closeup of Gemini 2 heat shield
Cross section of Gemini 2 heat shield

These forces can cause loss of mass (ablation) or even complete disintegration of smaller objects, and objects with lower compressive strength can explode.

Ventricular tachycardia

Fast heart rate arising from the lower chambers of the heart.

A run of ventricular tachycardia as seen on a rhythm strip
Normal sinus top, ventricular tachycardia bottom
12 lead electrocardiogram showing a run of monomorphic ventricular tachycardia (VT)

Catheter ablation is a potentially definitive treatment option for those with recurrent VT. Remote magnetic navigation is one effective method to do the procedure.

Excimer laser

Exciplex laser, is a form of ultraviolet laser which is commonly used in the production of microelectronic devices, semiconductor based integrated circuits or "chips", eye surgery, and micromachining.

An excimer laser

Rather than burning or cutting material, the excimer laser adds enough energy to disrupt the molecular bonds of the surface tissue, which effectively disintegrates into the air in a tightly controlled manner through ablation rather than burning.

Rocket engine

A rocket engine uses stored rocket propellants as the reaction mass for forming a high-speed propulsive jet of fluid, usually high-temperature gas.

RS-68 being tested at NASA's Stennis Space Center
Viking 5C rocket engine used on Ariane 1 through Ariane 4
A simplified diagram of a liquid-fuel rocket.
A simplified diagram of a solid-fuel rocket.
Rocket thrust is caused by pressures acting in the combustion chamber and nozzle. From Newton's third law, equal and opposite pressures act on the exhaust, and this accelerates it to high speeds.
The four expansion regimes of a de Laval nozzle:
• under-expanded
• perfectly expanded
• over-expanded
• grossly over-expanded
Typical temperature (T), pressure (p), and velocity (v) profiles in a de Laval Nozzle
Rocket vehicle mechanical efficiency as a function of vehicle instantaneous speed divided by effective exhaust speed. These percentages need to be multiplied by internal engine efficiency to get overall efficiency.
Armadillo aerospace's quad vehicle showing visible banding (shock diamonds) in the exhaust jet
Opel RAK.1 - World's first public flight of a manned rocket-powered plane on September 30, 1929

1) Ablative: the inside walls are lined with a material that traps heat and vaporizes.


Process that uses extreme cold to destroy tissue.

Animated GIF showing cryoablation of mass in right liver lobe using two probes. Time elapsed is approximately 30 minutes.

The term is from cryo- + ablation.