Critical time scales for advection–diffusion–reaction processes

Ellery, Adam, Simpson, Matthew, McCue, Scott W., & Baker, Ruth (2012) Critical time scales for advection–diffusion–reaction processes. Physical Review E, 85(4).

This is the latest version of this eprint.

View at publisher


The concept of local accumulation time (LAT) was introduced by Berezhkovskii and coworkers in 2010–2011 to give a finite measure of the time required for the transient solution of a reaction–diffusion equation to approach the steady–state solution (Biophys J. 99, L59 (2010); Phys Rev E. 83, 051906 (2011)). Such a measure is referred to as a critical time. Here, we show that LAT is, in fact, identical to the concept of mean action time (MAT) that was first introduced by McNabb in 1991 (IMA J Appl Math. 47, 193 (1991)). Although McNabb’s initial argument was motivated by considering the mean particle lifetime (MPLT) for a linear death process, he applied the ideas to study diffusion. We extend the work of these authors by deriving expressions for the MAT for a general one–dimensional linear advection–diffusion–reaction problem. Using a combination of continuum and discrete approaches, we show that MAT and MPLT are equivalent for certain uniform–to-uniform transitions; these results provide a practical interpretation for MAT, by directly linking the stochastic microscopic processes to a meaningful macroscopic timescale. We find that for more general transitions, the equivalence between MAT and MPLT does not hold. Unlike other critical time definitions, we show that it is possible to evaluate the MAT without solving the underlying partial differential equation (pde). This makes MAT a simple and attractive quantity for practical situations. Finally, our work explores the accuracy of certain approximations derived using the MAT, showing that useful approximations for nonlinear kinetic processes can be obtained, again without treating the governing pde directly.

Impact and interest:

12 citations in Scopus
13 citations in Web of Science®
Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

189 since deposited on 25 Apr 2012
15 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 49848
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: mean action time, local accumulation time, finite transition time, advection diffusion reaction
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.85.041135
ISSN: 1550-2376 (online) 1539-3755 (print)
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES (010000)
Divisions: Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Mathematical Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 American Physical Society
Deposited On: 25 Apr 2012 22:31
Last Modified: 14 May 2012 05:22

Available Versions of this Item

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page