Anomalous heat transport in binary hard-sphere gases

Craig Moir, Leo Lue, Julian D. Gale, Paolo Raiteri, Marcus N. Bannerman* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

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Equilibrium and non-equilibrium molecular dynamics (MD) are used to investigate the thermal conductivity of binary hard-sphere fluids. It is found that the thermal conductivity of a mixture can not only lie outside the series and parallel bounds set by their pure component values, but can lie beyond even the pure component fluid values. The MD simulations verify that revised Enskog theory can accurately predict non-equilibrium thermal conductivities at low densities and this theory is applied to explore the model parameter space. Only certain mass and size ratios are found to exhibit conductivity enhancements above the parallel bounds and dehancement below the series bounds. The anomalous dehancement is experimentally accessible in helium-hydrogen gas mixtures and a review of the literature confirms the existance of mixture thermal conductivity below the series bound and even below the pure fluid values, in accordance with the predictions of revised Enskog theory. The results reported here may reignite the debate in the nanofluid literature on the possible existence of anomalous thermal conductivities outside the series/parallel bounds as this work demonstrates they are a fundamental feature of even simple fluids.
Original languageEnglish
Article number030102(R)
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 29 Mar 2019

Bibliographical note

The authors acknowledge the support of the Maxwell computing service at University of Aberdeen, and the Aberdeen-Curtin Alliance [30] between the University of Aberdeen (Scotland, UK) and Curtin University (Perth, Australia) which is funding the PhD of Craig Moir. Paolo Raiteri and Julian Gale thank the Australian Research Council for funding.


  • heat transfer
  • kinetic theory
  • binary fluids
  • molecular dynamics


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