The concept of mass-density in classical thermodynamics and the Boltzmann kinetic equation for dilute gases

Dadzie, S. Kokou and Reese, Jason M. (2008) The concept of mass-density in classical thermodynamics and the Boltzmann kinetic equation for dilute gases. In: Proceedings of the 26th International Symposium on Rarified Gas Dynamics. American Institute of Physics. ISBN 9780735406155

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    Abstract

    In this paper we discuss the mass-density of gas media as represented in kinetic theory. It is argued that conventional representations of this variable in gas kinetic theory contradict a macroscopic field variable and thermodynamic property in classical thermodynamics. We show that in cases where mass-density variations exist throughout the medium, introducing the mass-density as a macroscopic field variable leads to a restructuring of the diffusive/convective fluxes and implies some modifications to the hydrodynamic equations describing gas flows and heat transfer. As an illustration, we consider the prediction of mass-density profiles in a simple heat conduction problem between parallel plates maintained at different temperatures.