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Phase Transitions from the Solid State of Monatomic Elements


Kerber, Ronald Lee (1970) Phase Transitions from the Solid State of Monatomic Elements. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/7B4C-H074.


The principle aims of this thesis include the development of models of sublimation and melting from first principles and the application of these models to the rare gases.

A simple physical model is constructed to represent the sublimation of monatomic elements. According to this model, the solid and gas phases are two states of a single physical system. The nature of the phase transition is clearly revealed, and the relations between the vapor pressure, the latent heat, and the transition temperature are derived. The resulting theory is applied to argon, krypton, and xenon, and good agreement with experiment is found.

For the melting transition, the solid is represented by an anharmonic model and the liquid is described by the Percus-Yevick approximation. The behavior of the liquid at high densities is studied on the isotherms kT/∈ = 1.3, 1.8, and 2.0, where k is Boltzmann's constant, T is the temperature, and e is the well depth of the Lennard-Jones 12-6 pair potential. No solutions of the PercusYevick equation were found for ρσ3 above 1.3, where ρ is the particle density and σ is the radial parameter of the Lennard-Jones potential. The liquid structure is found to be very different from the solid structure near the melting line. The liquid pressures are about 50 percent low for experimental melting densities of argon. This discrepancy gives rise to melting pressures up to twice the experimental values.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:(Engineering)
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Engineering
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Plesset, Milton S.
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:1 July 1969
Funding AgencyGrant Number
California State ScholarshipUNSPECIFIED
Office of Naval ResearchUNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:08072015-110010138
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:9086
Deposited By: Benjamin Perez
Deposited On:07 Aug 2015 22:09
Last Modified:16 May 2024 21:40

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