Kinetics of steady state phase transitions



A fundamental investigation of the departure from equilibrium in steady-state phase transitions has been made in terms of irreversible thermodynamics and absolute rate theory. The present status of the concept of accommodation coefficients was reviewed and hypotheses were advanced for the reconciliation of opposing viewpoints. Formulas for the magnitude of the departure from equilibrium were derived for single- and multicomponent systems. The deviation from equilibrium appeared to be small for ordinary rates of phase change, but interpretation of the available data was hampered by lack of a detailed molecular picture of the phase-change process.