A COMPARISON BETWEEN THE KINETIC THEORY OF DILUTE GAS MIXTURES AND THE KINETIC THEORY OF POLYMER MIXTURES
R. Byron Bird
Chemical and Biological Engineering Department
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Madison, Wisconsin 53706 U.S.A.
It may not be generally recognized that a phase-space kinetic theory for polymer mixtures may be established in a fashion similar to the kinetic theory of dilute gas mixtures. In what follows, we summarize the theory for gases, and then we proceed to do the same for polymers. Then we give some of the results for polymers that point out future directions for research in this interesting and challenging field.
Since this discussion will focus primarily on theory, it is important to heed the statements made by two famous Dutch scientists. First, we have the well-known quote from H. Kamerlingh Onnes (possibly the most often misspelled name in science): Door meten tot weten (through measurement to knowledge). And second, there is the quote from I. M. Kolthoff: Die Theorie leitet, das Experiment entscheidet (the theory guides, the experiment decides). The second quote acknowledges the role of theory, but both men are stressing the fact that experimental data are essential. We can only hope that the approach to kinetic theory of polymers described below will ultimately prove useful in organizing our thinking and in suggesting useful experiments.
1. DILUTE GAS MIXTURES
Many attempts have been made to develop the nonequilibrium statistical mechanics for gases with