Late-stage coarsening in off-critical vapor-liquid phase separation is reexamined. In the limit of bubbles of vapor distributed throughout a continuous liquid phase, it is argued that coarsening proceeds via inertial hydrodynamic bubble collapse. This replaces the Lifshitz-Slyozov-Wagner mechanism seen in binary liquid mixtures. The arguments are strongly supported by simulations in two dimensions using a novel single-component soft-sphere fluid.
- Received 1 May 2001
- Published 8 November 2001
© 2001 The American Physical Society