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Relaxation and transport of molecular systems in the gas phase

TitleRelaxation and transport of molecular systems in the gas phase
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1998
AuthorsSnider, RF
JournalInternational Reviews in Physical Chemistry
Volume17
Pagination185-225
Date PublishedApr-Jun
Type of ArticleReview
ISBN Number0144-235X
KeywordsBINARY COLLISION APPROXIMATION, BOLTZMANN-EQUATION, CARTESIAN TENSORS, COEFFICIENTS, CROSS-SECTIONS, ENERGY, IRREDUCIBLE, MODERATELY DENSE GAS, MUON SPIN RELAXATION, QUANTUM KINETIC-THEORY
Abstract

Some of the properties of gas phase relaxation and transport are reviewed with an emphasis on those properties that are due entirely to the presence of internal states in real molecular systems. The theoretical formulations of such non-equilibrium effects is based on the quantum Boltzmann equation. The conditions for the validity and the properties of this equation are reviewed. This includes a general discussion of how the combination of free molecule motion and collisions is required for the approach to global equilibrium. It is shown how the free motion is equivalent to a phase randomization of the elements of the density operator that are off-diagonal in energy. Spin relaxation and the magnetic field dependence (Senftleben-Beenakker effects) of the viscosity for a gas of diatomics are used to illustrate these aspects of the approach to equilibrium.

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