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The effect of system boundaries on the mean free path for confined gases
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The mean free path of rarefied gases is accurately determined using Molecular Dynamics simulations. The simulations are carried out on isothermal argon gas (Lennard-Jones fluid) over a range of rarefaction levels under various confinements (unbounded gas, parallel reflective wall and explicit solid platinum wall bounded gas) in a nanoscale domain. The system is also analyzed independently in constitutive sub-systems to calculate the corresponding local mean free paths. Our studies which predominate in the transition regime substantiate the boundary limiting effect on mean free paths owing to the sharp diminution in molecular free paths near the planar boundaries. These studies provide insight to the transport phenomena of rarefied gases through nanochannels which have established their potential in microscale and nanoscale heat transfer applications.
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