The dynamics of a system of hard spheres enclosed between two parallel plates separated a distance smaller than two particle diameters is described at the level of kinetic theory. The interest focuses on the behavior of the quasi-two-dimensional fluid seen when looking at the system from above or below. In the first part, a collisional model for the effective two-dimensional dynamics is analyzed. Although it is able to describe quite well the homogeneous evolution observed in the experiments, it is shown that it fails to predict the existence of non-equilibrium phase transitions, and in particular, the bimodal regime exhibited by the real system. A critical revision analysis of the model is presented , and as a starting point to get a more accurate description, the Boltzmann equation for the quasi-two-dimensional gas has been derived. In the elastic case, the solutions of the equation verify an H-theorem implying a monotonic tendency to a non-uniform steady state. As an example of application of the kinetic equation, here the evolution equations for the vertical and horizontal temperatures of the system are derived in the homogeneous approximation, and the results compared with molecular dynamics simulation results.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited