Uncertainty quantification in rarefied dynamics of molecular gas: rate effect of thermal relaxation

Qi Li, Jianan Zeng, Wei Su, Lei Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The thermal conductivity of a molecular gas consists of the translational and internal parts. Although in continuum flows the total thermal conductivity itself is adequate to describe the heat transfer, in rarefied gas flows they need to be modelled separately, according to the relaxation rates of translational and internal heat fluxes in an homogeneous system. This paper is dedicated to quantifying how these relaxation rates affect rarefied gas dynamics. The kinetic model of Wu et al. (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 763, 2015, pp. 24–50) is adapted to recover the relaxation of heat fluxes, which is validated by the direct simulation Monte Carlo method. Then the model of Wu et al., which has the freedom to adjust the relaxation rates, is used to investigate the rate effects of thermal relaxation in problems such as the normal shock wave, creep flow driven by Maxwell's demon and thermal transpiration. It is found that the relaxation rates of heat flux affect rarefied gas flows significantly, even when the total thermal conductivity is fixed.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberA58
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
Early online date4 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jun 2021


  • rarefied gas flow


Dive into the research topics of 'Uncertainty quantification in rarefied dynamics of molecular gas: rate effect of thermal relaxation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this