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Behaviour of microscale gas flows based on a power-law free path distribution function

Dongari, Nishanth and Zhang, Yonghao and Reese, Jason (2011) Behaviour of microscale gas flows based on a power-law free path distribution function. In: Rarefied Gas Dynamics. AIP Conference Proceedings, 1333 (1st). Springer, pp. 724-729. ISBN 978-0-7354-0889-0

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We investigate a power-law form for the probability distribution function of free paths of dilute gas molecules in a confined region. A geometry-dependent effective molecular mean free path (MFP) model is then derived for a planar wall confinement, by taking into account the boundary limiting effects on the molecular paths. The power-law based effective MFP is validated against molecular dynamics simulation data and compared with exponential effective MFP models. The Navier-Stokes constitutive relations are then modified according to the kinetic theory of gases i.e. transport properties can be described in terms of the free paths which the molecules describe between collisions. Results for isothermal pressure-driven Poiseuille gas flows in micro-channels are reported, and we compare results with conventional hydrodynamic models, solutions of the Boltzmann equation and experimental data.