# Difference between revisions of "Capillary waves"

Carl McBride (talk | contribs) m (→References: Added book ISBN) |
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− | + | ==Thermal capillary waves== | |

− | which are thermal in origin | + | Thermal '''capillary waves''' are oscillations of an [[interface]] |

− | + | which are thermal in origin. These take place at the molecular level, where only the surface tension | |

− | + | contribution is relevant. | |

Capillary wave theory (CWT) is a classic account of how thermal | Capillary wave theory (CWT) is a classic account of how thermal | ||

fluctuations distort an interface (Ref. 1). It starts from some '''intrinsic surface''' | fluctuations distort an interface (Ref. 1). It starts from some '''intrinsic surface''' | ||

− | that is distorted. | + | that is distorted. By performing a [[Fourier analysis]] treatment, [[normal modes]] are easily found. |

− | the width of the interface is bound to diverge with its area. | + | Each contributes a energy proportional to the square of its amplitude; therefore, according to |

− | + | [[classical statistical mechanics]], [[equipartition]] holds, and the | |

+ | mean energy of each mode will be <math>kT/2</math>. Surprisingly, this result leads to a | ||

+ | '''divergent''' surface (the width of the interface is bound to diverge with its area) (Ref 2). | ||

+ | This divergence is | ||

+ | nevertheless very mild: even for displacements on the order of meters the deviation of the surface | ||

+ | is comparable to the size of the molecules. Moreover, the introduction of an external field | ||

+ | removes the divergence: the action | ||

of gravity is sufficient to keep the width fluctuation on the order | of gravity is sufficient to keep the width fluctuation on the order | ||

− | of one molecular diameter for areas | + | of one molecular diameter for areas larger than about 1 mm<sup>2</sup> (Ref. 2). |

Recently, a procedure has been proposed to obtain a molecular intrinsic | Recently, a procedure has been proposed to obtain a molecular intrinsic | ||

Line 16: | Line 22: | ||

from this surface are, in general, quite different from the usual | from this surface are, in general, quite different from the usual | ||

''mean density profiles''. | ''mean density profiles''. | ||

+ | |||

+ | |||

+ | ==Gravity-capillary waves== | ||

+ | |||

+ | These are ordinary waves excited in an interface, such as ripples on | ||

+ | a water surface. | ||

+ | Their dispersion relation reads, for waves on the interface between two fluids of infinite depth: | ||

+ | :<math> | ||

+ | \omega^2=\frac{\rho-\rho'}{\rho+\rho'}gk+\frac{\sigma}{\rho+\rho'}k^3,</math> | ||

+ | where ''ω'' is the [[angular frequency]], ''g'' the acceleration due to [[standard gravity|gravity]], ''σ'' the [[surface tension]], ''ρ'' and ''ρ‘'' the [[mass density]] of the two fluids (''ρ > ρ‘'') and ''k'' the [[wavenumber]]. | ||

+ | |||

+ | |||

+ | |||

+ | ===Derivation=== | ||

+ | This is a sketch of the derivation of the general dispersion relation, see Ref. | ||

+ | <ref> Samuel Safran "Statistical thermodynamics of surfaces, interfaces, and membranes" Addison-Wesley 1994.</ref> for a more detailed description. | ||

+ | |||

+ | Three contributions to the energy are involved: the [[surface tension]], gravity, and hydrodynamics. The part due to gravity is the simplest: integrating the potential energy density due to gravity, <math>\rho g z</math> from a reference height to the position of the surface, <math>z=h(x,y)</math>: | ||

+ | :<math>E_\mathrm{g}= \int dx\, dy\, \int_0^h dz \rho g z = \rho g /2 \int dx\, dy\, h^2.</math> | ||

+ | (For simplicity, we are neglecting the density of the fluid above, which is often acceptable.) | ||

+ | |||

+ | An increase in area of the surface causes a proportional increase of energy: | ||

+ | :<math>E_\mathrm{st}= \sigma \int dx\, dy\ \sqrt{(dh/dx)^2+(dh/dy)^2} \approx \sigma/2 \int dx\, dy\ [(dh/dx)^2+(dh/dy)^2],</math> | ||

+ | where the fist equality is the area in this ([[de Monge]]) representation, and the second | ||

+ | applies for small values of the derivatives (surfaces not too rough). | ||

+ | |||

+ | The last contribution involves the [[kinetic energy]] of the fluid: | ||

+ | :<math>T= \rho/2 \int dx\, dy\, \int_{-\infty}^h dz v^2,</math> | ||

+ | where <math>v</math> is the module of the velocity field <math>\vec{v}</math>. If the fluid is | ||

+ | incompressible and its flow is irrotational (often, sensible approximations), its | ||

+ | flow will be [[potential flow|potential]]: <math>\vec{v}=\nabla\psi</math>, and <math>\psi</math> | ||

+ | must satisfy [[Laplace equation]] <math>\nabla^2\psi=0</math>. This equation can be solved with the proper boundary conditions: <math>\vec{v}</math> must vanish well below the surface (in the "deep water" case, which is the one we consider), and it vertical component must match the motion of the surface: <math>v_z=dh/dt</math> at <math>z=h</math>. Performing the <math>\int_{-\infty} dz</math> integration | ||

+ | one is left with a surface integral for the kinetic energy. One is then left with two contribution to the potential energy involving <math>h</math>, <math>dh/dx</math>, and <math>dh/dy</math>, and one for the kinetic energy involving <math>dh/dt</math>, all three being surface integrals. Constructing the [[Lagrangian]] of this system one readily finds a wave-like equation, whose oscillatory solutions satisfy | ||

+ | :<math> | ||

+ | \omega^2=g k+\frac{\sigma}{\rho}k^3,</math> | ||

+ | the same dispersion as above if <math>\rho'</math> is neglected. | ||

+ | |||

+ | |||

+ | |||

==References== | ==References== |

## Revision as of 10:47, 9 April 2008

## Thermal capillary waves

Thermal **capillary waves** are oscillations of an interface
which are thermal in origin. These take place at the molecular level, where only the surface tension
contribution is relevant.

Capillary wave theory (CWT) is a classic account of how thermal
fluctuations distort an interface (Ref. 1). It starts from some **intrinsic surface**
that is distorted. By performing a Fourier analysis treatment, normal modes are easily found.
Each contributes a energy proportional to the square of its amplitude; therefore, according to
classical statistical mechanics, equipartition holds, and the
mean energy of each mode will be . Surprisingly, this result leads to a
**divergent** surface (the width of the interface is bound to diverge with its area) (Ref 2).
This divergence is
nevertheless very mild: even for displacements on the order of meters the deviation of the surface
is comparable to the size of the molecules. Moreover, the introduction of an external field
removes the divergence: the action
of gravity is sufficient to keep the width fluctuation on the order
of one molecular diameter for areas larger than about 1 mm^{2} (Ref. 2).

Recently, a procedure has been proposed to obtain a molecular intrinsic
surface from simulation data (Ref. 3). The density profiles obtained
from this surface are, in general, quite different from the usual
*mean density profiles*.

## Gravity-capillary waves

These are ordinary waves excited in an interface, such as ripples on a water surface. Their dispersion relation reads, for waves on the interface between two fluids of infinite depth:

where *ω* is the angular frequency, *g* the acceleration due to gravity, *σ* the surface tension, *ρ* and *ρ‘* the mass density of the two fluids (*ρ > ρ‘*) and *k* the wavenumber.

### Derivation

This is a sketch of the derivation of the general dispersion relation, see Ref.
^{[1]} for a more detailed description.

Three contributions to the energy are involved: the surface tension, gravity, and hydrodynamics. The part due to gravity is the simplest: integrating the potential energy density due to gravity, from a reference height to the position of the surface, :

(For simplicity, we are neglecting the density of the fluid above, which is often acceptable.)

An increase in area of the surface causes a proportional increase of energy:

where the fist equality is the area in this (de Monge) representation, and the second applies for small values of the derivatives (surfaces not too rough).

The last contribution involves the kinetic energy of the fluid:

where is the module of the velocity field . If the fluid is incompressible and its flow is irrotational (often, sensible approximations), its flow will be potential: , and must satisfy Laplace equation . This equation can be solved with the proper boundary conditions: must vanish well below the surface (in the "deep water" case, which is the one we consider), and it vertical component must match the motion of the surface: at . Performing the integration one is left with a surface integral for the kinetic energy. One is then left with two contribution to the potential energy involving , , and , and one for the kinetic energy involving , all three being surface integrals. Constructing the Lagrangian of this system one readily finds a wave-like equation, whose oscillatory solutions satisfy

the same dispersion as above if is neglected.

## References

- F. P. Buff, R. A. Lovett, and F. H. Stillinger, Jr. "Interfacial density profile for fluids in the critical region" Physical Review Letters
**15**pp. 621-623 (1965) - J. S. Rowlinson and B. Widom "Molecular Theory of Capillarity". Dover 2002 (originally: Oxford University Press 1982) ISBN 0486425444
- E. Chacón and P. Tarazona "Intrinsic profiles beyond the capillary wave theory: A Monte Carlo study", Physical Review Letters
**91**166103 (2003) - P. Tarazona, R. Checa, and E. Chacón "Critical Analysis of the Density Functional Theory Prediction of Enhanced Capillary Waves", Physical Review Letters
**99**196101 (2007) - ↑ Samuel Safran "Statistical thermodynamics of surfaces, interfaces, and membranes" Addison-Wesley 1994.