Abstract

The rate of evaporation of a liquid is calculated from the Polanyi-Wigner theory of the escape of molecules from the surface of a solid body. In particular, the rate of evaporation of a “pseudocrystalline” fluid, such as water, is obtained from Volmer’s extension of this theory to the case where the molecules escape only from isolated locations, creating holes in the surface. The rate of condensation on the surface of a pseudocrystalline fluid is obtained by applying the kinetic theory of gases to the case where condensation occurs only in the holes created by this process of evaporation. The energy of escape is in conformity with the virial theorem as applied to the Lennard-Jones-Devonshire equation of state. Mass and heat transfer calculated from these laws for phases of unequal temperatures, when applied to the pseudocrystalline substance water, agree closely with Jakob’s and Dergarabedian’s experiments on boiling water.

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