Communication: On the diffusion tensor in macroscopic theory of cavitation

Vitaly A. Shneidman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The classical description of nucleation of cavities in a stretched fluid relies on a one-dimensional Fokker-Planck equation (FPE) in the space of their sizes r, with the diffusion coefficient D(r) constructed for all r from macroscopic hydrodynamics and thermodynamics, as shown by Zeldovich. When additional variables (e.g., vapor pressure) are required to describe the state of a bubble, a similar approach to construct a diffusion tensor D^ generally works only in the direct vicinity of the thermodynamic saddle point corresponding to the critical nucleus. It is shown, nevertheless, that "proper" kinetic variables to describe a cavity can be selected, allowing to introduce D^ in the entire domain of parameters. In this way, for the first time, complete FPE's are constructed for viscous volatile and inertial fluids. In the former case, the FPE with symmetric D^ is solved numerically. Alternatively, in the case of an inertial fluid, an equivalent Langevin equation is considered; results are compared with analytics. The suggested approach is quite general and can be applied beyond the cavitation problem.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number061101
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 14 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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