How thick is a liquid-vapor interface?

D. L. Heath, J. K. Percus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The structure of the interface of an argonlike fluid in equilibrium with its vapor near the triple point is studied using Monte Carlo simulation. By referring particle coordinates to the capillary waves and calculating the transverse structure factor in that reference frame, one can determine the penetration depth of the capillary waves into the bulk as a function of the wave vector. The penetration depth of the lowest capillary mode is consistent with the interfacial thickness as determined from the intrinsic density profile, and the data for the higher modes suggest that the penetration depth might be independent of k.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-330
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Statistical Physics
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Oct 1987


  • Phase coexistence
  • capillary waves
  • computer simulation
  • fluid interface
  • intrinsic profile
  • wave penetration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Mathematical Physics


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