Whether you are studying physics or chemistry, you have no doubt heard about chemical transports. Also known as transport phenomena, these transports deal with essentially every physical change that has ever occurred in or ever will occur in the universe as we know it. Considered some of the most fundamental building blocks that helped create the universe and life here on Earth, it’s clear this concept is one of the most important aspects of science. To learn more about chemical transports, here are three reasons why they are crucial to so many areas of science.
1- Solid State Physics
One of the most important aspects of physics, chemical transports are irreversible processes centered around the continuous motion of molecules. Seen mostly in fluids, it’s guided by the two major concepts known as constitutive equations and conservation laws. Describing both how the quantity being studied is to be conserved as well as how the quantity will respond to certain stimuli by means of chemical transport, it results in establishing a relationship between a fluid flux and the forces that are applied to a fluid. In addition, the chemical transports also show how thermodynamics relates to solid state physics, since it involves systems that seek the lowest possible energy state that stays within the minimum energy levels needed to achieve thermodynamic equilibrium. By doing so, it’s possible to show there are no longer forces at work within the system, which results in the ceasing of chemical transports. When this occurs, the heat transfer that originally occurred during the transport process moves the system toward not only chemical equilibrium, but mechanical equilibrium as well. More details about this complex process can be found here.
2- Diffusion, Momentum, and Energy
Along with their important role in solid state physics, chemical transports also play a crucial role in the relationship between diffusion, momentum, and energy. For example, mass diffusion occurs when odors are spread and dissipated throughout the air, resulting in a molecular transfer. After this, momentum diffusion happens when something such as a raindrop or other object loses its momentum as if falls through the air, causing numerous stresses and decelerates to occur. Finally, heat diffusion occurs through the conduction of heat in a solid material, resulting in the formation of an energy source. Because of the relationship of these three processes, chemical transports lead to what’s known as turbulent transfers. While this sounds like something that may be unpredictable and disruptive, it’s actually the opposite. When these transfers occur, predictable reactions between diffusion, mass, and energy can be observed, enabling scientists to arrive at solutions allowing them to accurately predict the transfer of mass. Additional details about these relationships can be found here.
3- Wave Propagation
Just like it sounds, wave propagation deals with the way waves travel. An important part of physics, chemical engineering, and other areas of science, this concept demonstrates yet again why chemical transports are so important. One of the most vital areas where these two concepts connect involves reflections of plane waves. Whether it happens in a vacuum or material medium, this type of transport often indicates that a wave cannot propagate through a vacuum, and instead needs a transmission medium acquired through a chemical transport for this transmission medium to happen. Observed often at the continuum level, a wave propagation can be observed when molecular motions are ignored and scientists instead focus on differential equations that describe the various profiles of temperature, concentration, and velocity.
Useful in a number of aspects of physics as well as chemical engineering, chemical transports are indeed a focal point of many crucial experiments in these and other areas. From reactor engineering and heat transfer operations to separation and mixing processes, chemical transports are essential elements of various scientific processes. As scientists continue to explore chemical transports in greater detail, there no doubt will be more and more ways in which they are found to be integral parts of many scientific concepts. By forming the basis for numerous analytical and diffusion-controlled processes, chemical transports are continuing to be used to analyze the many ways in which physics plays a role in the continuing development of the universe.