On the Derivation of Smoluchowski Equations with Corrections in the Classical Theory of Brownian Motion


Differential equations governing the time evolution of distribution functions for Brownian motion in the full phase space were first derived independently by Klein and Kramers. From these so-called Fokker-Planck equations one may derive the reduced differential equations in coordinate space known as Smoluchowski equations. Many such derivations have previously been reported, but these either involved unnecessary assumptions or approximations, or were performed incompletely. We employ an iterative reduction scheme, free of assumptions, and calculate formally exact corrections to the Smoluchowski equations for many-particle systems with and without hydrodynamic interaction, and for a single particle in an external field. In the absence of hydrodynamic interaction, the lowest order corrections have been expressed explicitly in terms of the coordinate space distribution function. An additional application of the method is made to the reduction of the stress tensor used in evaluating the intrinsic viscosity of particles in solution. Most of the present work is based on classical Brownian motion theory, but brief consideration is given in an appendix to some recent developments regarding non-Markovian equations for Brownian motion.



Keywords and Phrases

Brownian motion; diffusion; Fokker-Planck equation; hydrodynamic interaction; intrinsic viscosity; Smoluchowski equation

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Article - Journal

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© 1976 Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Feb 1976