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Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys. 2010 Nov;82(5 Pt 1):051111. Epub 2010 Nov 9.

Drift effect and "negative" mass transport in an inhomogeneous medium: limiting case of a two-component lattice gas.

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Institute of Physics, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Prospect Nauki 46, 03028 Kyiv, Ukraine.


The mass transport in an inhomogeneous medium is modeled as the limiting case of a two-component lattice gas with excluded volume constraint and one of the components fixed. In the long-wavelength approximation, the density relaxation of mobile particles is governed by diffusion and interaction with a medium inhomogeneity represented by the static component distribution. It is shown that the density relaxation can be locally accompanied by density distribution compression, i.e., the local mass transport directed from low-to high-density regions. The origin of such a "negative" mass transport is shown to be associated with the presence of a stationary drift flow defined by the medium inhomogeneity. In the quasi-one-dimensional case, the compression dynamics manifests itself in the hoppinglike motion of packet front position of diffusing substance due to staged passing through inhomogeneity barriers, and it leads to fragmentation of the packet and retardation of its spreading. The root-mean-square displacement reflects only the averaged packet front dynamics and becomes inappropriate as the transport characteristic in this regime. In the stationary case, the mass transport throughout the whole system may be directed from the boundary with lower concentration towards the boundary with higher concentration. Implications of the excluded volume constraint and particle distinguishability for these effects are discussed.


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