Transport phenomena

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In engineering and physics, the study of transport phenomena concerns the exchange of mass, energy, or momentum between observed and studied engineering systems. This subject is a fundamental component of disciplines involved with fluid mechanics, heat transfer, and mass transfer. It is now considered to be a part of the engineering discipline as much as thermodynamics, mechanics, and electromagnetism. Momentum, heat (energy), and mass transport share a similar mathematical framework, and a similar analytical mechanism that carries out the exchange process.

Transport phenomena actually encompasses all agents of physical change in the universe. Moreover, it is considered to be fundamental building block which developed the universe, and which is responsible for the success of all life on earth. However, the scope here limits the transport phenomena to its relationship to artificial engineered systems.[1]

Contents

Overview

In physics, transport phenomena are all irreversible processes of statistical nature stemming from the random continuous motion of molecules, mostly observed in fluids. They involve a net macroscopic transfer of matter, energy or momentum in thermodynamic systems that are not in statistical equilibrium.

Examples of transport processes include heat conduction (energy transfer), viscosity (momentum transfer), molecular diffusion (mass transfer), radiation and electric charge transfer in semiconductors.[2][3][4][5]

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