Translation of J. D. van der Waals' “The thermodynamik theory of capillarity under the hypothesis of a continuous variation of density”

  title={Translation of J. D. van der Waals' “The thermodynamik theory of capillarity under the hypothesis of a continuous variation of density”},
  author={John Shipley Rowlinson},
  journal={Journal of Statistical Physics},
  • J. S. Rowlinson
  • Published 1 February 1979
  • Mathematics
  • Journal of Statistical Physics
Van der Waals justifies the choice of minimization of the (Helmholtz) free energy as the criterion of equilibrium in a liquid-gas system (Sections 1–4). If densityρ is a function of heighth then the local free energy density differs from that of a homogeneous fluid by a term proportional to (d2ρ/dh2); the extra term arises from the energy not from the entropy (Section 5). He uses this result to show howρ varies withh (Section 6), how this variation leads to a stable minimum free energy (Section… 
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