A theoretical model for the growth of spherical bubbles by rectified diffusion

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Rectified diffusion is a bubble growth phenomenon that occurs in acoustic fields. Despite the existence of a well-established spherically symmetric mathematical model, theoretical results have been unsuccessful in reproducing the bubble growth even in the case of a single spherical bubble in the bulk. In the latter case, the influence of surfactants and acoustic microstreaming have been speculated as the explanation for this disagreement. In this article, an exact solution for the leading-order concentration of gas in the liquid is determined. Using this exact solution, the well-established mathematical model is reduced to a system of two ordinary differential equations for the spherical bubble radius and the mass of gas in the bubble. This simplified model predicts the rapid bubble growth observed in experiments of a single spherical bubble in the bulk. The new results show that the bubble growth is asymptotically larger than at later times when the mass flux is limited by the slow diffusion of gas in a much larger region of the liquid surrounding the bubble. The new results also show that this bubble growth is relatively insensitive to a reduction in surface tension.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberA28
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
Early online date30 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - 25 May 2022


  • Cavitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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