The equilibrium state attained by a single-phase fluid or fluid mixture when under the influence of gravity and subject to given external constraints differs, as is well known, from its gravity-free counterpart. The thermodynamic stability of single-phase fluids and their mixtures, however, is shown to be uninfluenced by the presence of gravity. Single-phase fluids and their mixtures are thermodynamically stable when under the influence of gravity if, and only if, the gravity-free stability criteria are satisfied everywhere throughout the fluid volume. Gravitational fields, therefore, introduce no additional mechanism whereby spontaneous fluctuations can destabilize an equilibrium state.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry