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163
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3answers
44k views

Surviving under water in air bubble

An incredible news story today is about a man who survived for two days at the bottom of the sea (~30 m deep) in a capsized boat, in an air bubble that formed in a corner of the boat. He was ...
40
votes
7answers
44k views

How can two seas not mix?

How can two seas not mix? I think this is commonly known and the explanation everyone gives is "because they have different densities". What I get is that they eventually will mix, but this process ...
18
votes
1answer
1k views

How long would it take for a smelly object to evaporate?

This question is a follow on from this deleted one: http://physics.stackexchange.com/q/177894/26076 as I was writing what I thought to be a valid physics answer to it. Version 1 of this question ...
9
votes
0answers
245 views

Diffusion of gases in the atmosphere

Suppose that the atmosphere is composed of 21% $O_2$ and 78% $Kr$ (instead of $N_2$). Since the density of $Kr$ is greater than the density of $O_2$, the lower atmosphere (where we live) should be ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Collision time of Brownian particles

Let's assume two spherical particles $p_1$ and $p_2$ of finite radius $r_1$ and $r_2$, which are at locations $(\pm\frac{d}{2},0,0)$ a distance $d$ apart at initial time $t$. These particles diffuse ...
7
votes
1answer
726 views

How fast will sublimed dry ice mix with air?

I saw this photo and wondered: Will the CO2 stay mostly in a layer on the floor with the rest of the atmosphere resting on top, or will it quickly diffuse throughout the room? This lab is probably ...
7
votes
1answer
11k views

What is the difference between the words transparent and translucent?

Merriam Webster defines transparent as: Having the property of transmitting light without appreciable scattering so that bodies lying beyond are seen clearly. And translucent as: ...
7
votes
2answers
15k views

Convective and Diffusive terms in Navier Stokes Equations

My question has 2 parts: I just followed the derivation of Navier Stokes (for Control Volume CFD analysis) and was able to understand most parts. However, the book I use (by Versteeg) does not ...
7
votes
1answer
162 views

Does QED provide a closed form for Coulomb logarithms?

The classical models for the integrand as well as the cut-offs in computing the Coulomb logarithm are pretty rough. Does quantum electrodynamics have definite expressions for the quantity $\...
6
votes
4answers
11k views

What is the exact difference between diffusion, convection and advection?

I have tried to explore the information but still not very clear on the exact difference between diffusion, convection and advection. Can anyone help me out to clear my concept?
6
votes
2answers
390 views

Why is the answer to this diffusion example unintuitive?

Imagine a linear decrease in concentration from left to right. Using Fick's first law, $J = -D \frac{d \psi}{d x}$ for all x, from left to right, we have the same flux amount because the decrease is ...
6
votes
1answer
233 views

Why is Johnson noise a Gaussian process?

Noise processes in engineering and physics are frequently assumed to be Gaussian processes. This allows use of convenient analytical techniques. The question then arises as to why natural processes ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Do particle velocities in liquid follow the Maxwell-Boltzmann velocity distribution?

The Maxwell-Boltzmann velocity distribution arises from non-reactive elastic collisions of particles and is usually discussed in the context of the kinetic theory (for gases). There are various ...
6
votes
1answer
971 views

Why is it difficult to mix helium and nitrogen gases?

I recently learned an interesting fact: That it's difficult to mix helium and nitrogen gases in a compressed gas cylinder. Gas suppliers that need to mix the two gases have to rotate the cylinders for ...
6
votes
2answers
172 views

Counting of brownian particles: Point Process

Imagine a point process defined by the passage time of purely brownian particles through a given point (in 1D), line (2D) or plane (3D). I'm interested in the variance of the counts (number of ...
5
votes
1answer
484 views

What formulas should I use to realistically model the diffusion of a drop of ink in a water?

I am a mathematician and am originally from the math side of stackexchange. I want to model the behaviour of a drop of ink diffusing in water. I dont want to simply use the diffusion equation $u_t(\...
5
votes
1answer
218 views

Simple question regarding the Green's function for the diffusion equation

The differential operator for diffusion in three dimensions is given by $\partial_t - k \nabla^2$ where $k$ is a constant. The Green's function is (according to Wikipedia) $$\theta(t)\left( \frac{1}{4\...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the probability density function over time for a 1-D random walk on a line with boundaries?

If a single particle sits on an infinite line and undergoes a 1-D random walk, the probability density of its spatio-temporal evolution is captured by a 1-D gaussian distribution. \begin{align} P(x,t)...
5
votes
2answers
294 views

Time for a particle undergoing brownian motion to reach a point in a volume

I was wondering how one could calculate the average time a particle needs to reach a random point in a small sphere (filled by water) with a radius of maybe $10 \mu m$. I thought of using the Stokes-...
5
votes
1answer
139 views

Everyday example of diffusion unobscured by advection, wetting etc

Diffusion is an important concept in elementary science education, especially because it supports (or seems to support) the notion of matter consisting of very small everyday particles (as opposed to ...
5
votes
1answer
95 views

Diffusion coefficient for asymmetric (biased) random walk

I want to obtain a Fokker-Planck like equation by taking the continuous limit of a discrete asymmetric random walk. Let the probability of taking a step to the right be $p$, and the probability of ...
5
votes
0answers
84 views

Green's function for moving solidification front

Consider a liquid solid interface $z =\zeta(x,t)$ moving at constant speed $v$, for a two dimensional problem. Due to solidification interface is changing it position. For simplicity heat ...
5
votes
2answers
185 views

Spin drift velocity?

I am currently reading this Phys Rev paper by H C Torrey. In this paper, he derives the Bloch equations with an additional diffusion term. He says that the current density is given by $$\mathbf j_{\...
4
votes
3answers
326 views

Guessing what a simple partial differential equation is describing physically

Is there an easy way to look at a partial different equation and get a sense of what kind of phenomena it is physically describing? I have an equation that looks like this: $\partial_tA=C_3\partial^...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

How fart is transported through air?

As we know diffussivity of gas is really slow (e.g. $\require{mhchem}\ce{O2}$ and $\ce{H2O}$ in the air are respectively $0.176$ and $0.282 ~\text{cm}^2/\text{s}$). here is a example to specify how ...
4
votes
3answers
15k views

What is the physical meaning of diffusion coefficient?

In Fick's first law, the diffusion coefficient is velocity, but I do not understand the two-dimensional concept of this velocity. Imagine that solutes are diffusing from one side of a tube to another (...
4
votes
5answers
279 views

No diffusion term in conservation of mass in Navier-Stokes equations?

I have followed derivations of the Navier-Stokes equations and I can see how the various terms arise in the "main equation", the momentum conservation equation. However I don't understand why the ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Physical interpretation of the change of diffusion term in navier stokes equations

In the Navier-Stokes Equations, there is one term accounting for convective flow and one term for diffusive flow. At high flow rates, the diffusive term becomes much smaller compared to convective ...
4
votes
1answer
6k views

How does smoke move in the air and how can I direct it so it will go to a place I want it to go?

Let's assume a close room with 1-2 people who only one of them smoking cigarette. What is the equation describe the smoking spreading? is it diffusion? what are the parameters is so? Is there a way/...
4
votes
1answer
52 views

Derivation of the diffusion coefficient?

The diffusion coefficient relates the particle flux $J$ to the gradient in the number density (of the 'labelled' particles) $\frac{\partial \bar n}{\partial z}$ such that; $$J=-D \frac{\partial \bar n}...
4
votes
0answers
34 views

How does air going through silica gel change its humidity

Assume that the properties(temperature,humidity,velocity and so on) of the incoming air flow stay constant. The air flow goes through a silica gel plate. Humidity of the air will decrease, but how to ...
4
votes
0answers
66 views

Stochastic process generating fractional diffusion

One way to generate Brownian motion is as follows: Define a waiting time probability distribution $\psi(t)$ and step length probability distribution $\lambda(x)$. Require also that $\langle \psi \...
3
votes
2answers
117 views

More intuition in understanding diffusion

This is a short conceptual question: (I think I'm confusing some very key concepts, here's an attempt to try and resolve it) Systems whose dynamics are governed by diffusion, for example a particle ...
3
votes
1answer
571 views

What is the return probability for Brownian motion in three dimensions?

I would like to know the probability of return to the initial point in three dimensional Brownian motion. Does someone know an expression for the diffusion constant? (Suggestions of books on this ...
3
votes
1answer
75 views

Heuristics behind Dirac delta function in Master equation for probability?

I'm reading this paper [Phys. Rev. Lett. 106, 160601 (2011)] and it studies simple diffusion where a particle stochastically resets to its initial position $x_0$ at a constant rate $r$. As you can see,...
3
votes
1answer
494 views

Einstein's relation and osmotic pressure

How can I derive the Einstein's relation $D=k_{b}TB$, where $D$ is the diffusion coefficient and B is the mobility coefficient, from the concept of osmotic pressure?
3
votes
1answer
413 views

Diffusion vs Gravity in water: does a dissolved ion tend to “sink”?

Im a french student in geochemistry. My question might be silly, but I became really too confused to answer it myself. Does gravity affect the diffusion of ions in water ? Lets imagine a vertical ...
3
votes
1answer
182 views

Heat diffusion: evanescent waves?

It has been recently pointed out to me that the solution of the heat equation in a semi-infinite material with an oscillating boundary condition at the surface is not an evanescent wave. The argument ...
3
votes
1answer
8k views

What is the difference between dispersion and diffusion?

What is the difference between dispersion and diffusion? Currently I believe, that diffusion is the mixture of molecules due to Brownian motion. So I read everywhere, that it happens with magnitude of ...
3
votes
1answer
858 views

Why viscosity is diffusive?

I'm studying fluid mechanics in more depth during my Ph. D. and there is something related with the diffusive term that has been bothering me for a long time. Looking at the convection diffusion ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Units of the Stokes-Einstein rotational diffusion coefficient

The Stokes-Einstein rotational diffusion relation tells us that we can write down a rotational diffusion coefficient for a sphere as: $$D_r \approx \frac{k_B T}{\zeta_f} \approx \frac{k_B T}{(8 \pi \...
3
votes
1answer
167 views

How big an egg can be? [closed]

Please hold on to flag as off-topic. Few days ago I received a question - how big an egg can possibly big? Can it be as big as 1 meter, as a human? (Imagining that there could be really huge animals ...
3
votes
1answer
774 views

Can we explain physical similarities between Black Scholes PDE and the Mass Balance PDE (e.g. Advection-Diffusion equation)?

Both the Black-Scholes PDE{*} and the Mass/Material Balance PDE have a similar mathematical form of the PDE which is evident from the fact that on change of variables from Black-Scholes PDE we derive ...
3
votes
2answers
130 views

Fick's first law inhomogeneous proof

I have seen Fick's first law of diffusion derived for a homogeneous material many times, however I am struggling to find a satisfactory proof for inhomogeneous, particularly for particle diffusion. ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

Understanding the mean square displacement in molecular dynamics

In a Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulation, the mean square displacement $\text{MSD}$ is given by $$\text{MSD}(\delta t) = \left\langle\left|\vec{r}(\delta t)-\vec{r}(0)\right|^2\right\rangle,$$ where $...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Diffusion of gas in a liquid with changing pressure and solubility (chemical potential)

Modelling the diffusion of a gas dissolved in water in a vertical column of water, several meters deep. Also assuming the water is completely still, so only diffusion plays a role. (Actually a model ...
3
votes
1answer
146 views

Equidistant coffee rings in a mug: pinning boundaries coupled with migration of solute or just sip volume?

I understand that you get coffee rings on a table as a result of solute migration (solutocapillarity) towards the pinning of the circumference of the coffee ring [Deegan et al.]. Below is an ...
3
votes
0answers
36 views

Why would oscillation of a gas column inhibit rather than promote mixing?

Many years ago I helped to support an experiment conducted in Japan which investigated the effects of high frequency oscillation ventilation (HFOV) on the mixing and distribution of gas into the lungs....
3
votes
0answers
105 views

Understanding various types of motion

In classical statistical mechanics, given a system of particles, one often goes about classifying various dynamics (or types of motion) the system may exhibit on different time scales, but studying ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Schrödinger equation derivation and Diffusion equation

I am aware of the debate on whether Schrödinger equation was derived or motivated. However, I have not seen this one that I describe below. Wonder if it could be relevant. If not historically but for ...