Static versus dynamic analysis of the influence of gravity on concentration non-equilibrium fluctuations

Croccolo, Fabrizio ; Bataller, Henri ; Scheffold, Frank

In: The European Physical Journal E, 2014, vol. 37, no. 11, p. 1-5

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    Abstract.: In a binary fluid mixture subject to gravity and a stabilizing concentration gradient, concentration non-equilibrium fluctuations are long-ranged. While the gradient leads to an enhancement of the respective equilibrium fluctuations, the effect of gravity is a damping of fluctuations larger than a "characteristic” size. This damping is visible both in the fluctuation power spectrum probed by static and the temporal correlation function probed by dynamic light scattering. One aspect of the "characteristic” size can be appreciated by the dynamic analysis; in fact at the corresponding "characteristic” wave vector q * one can observe a maximum of the fluctuation time constant indicating the more persistent fluctuation of the system. Also in the static analysis a "characteristic” size can be extracted from the crossover wave vector. According to common theoretical concepts, the result should be the same in both cases. In the present work we provide evidence for a systematic difference in the experimentally observed "characteristic” size as obtained by static and dynamic measurements. Our observation thus points out the need for a more refined theory of non-equilibrium concentration fluctuations. Graphical abstract: