4. Kent W. Mayhew, Energetics of Nucleation

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Volume 17: Pages 476-494, 2004

Energetics of Nucleation

Kent W. Mayhew

68 Pine Glen Crescent, Nepean, Ontario K2G 0G8 Canada

Most nucleation processes involve both a phase change and a pressure change across a curved tensile layer. Therefore both volume and pressure are relevant parameters when determining the work involved in nucleation processes. A general equation, where the work is related to both volume and pressure change, has been derived, in part based on a plausible explanation for latent heat changes as a function of pressure. Equations defining the work required for the nucleation of globules, liquid droplets, bubbles, and cavitations can subsequently be derived from this general equation. We shall also reanalyze the application of the YoungLaplace equations to droplets, bubbles, and capillary action.

Keywords: nucleation, phase change, bubble, cavitation, droplet, surface tension, sonoluminescence, second law, thermodynamics, YoungLaplace equation

Received: August 19, 2003; Published Online: December 15, 2008