Anomalous diffusion in systems with concentration-dependent diffusivity: exact solutions and particle simulations
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionFrontiers in Physics. 2020, 8:519624 1-9. 10.3389/fphy.2020.519624
We explore the anomalous diffusion that may arise as a result of a concentration dependent diffusivity. The diffusivity is taken to be a power law in the concentration, and from exact analytical solutions we show that the diffusion may be anomalous, or not, depending on the nature of the initial condition. The diffusion exponent has the value of normal diffusion when the initial condition is a step profile, but takes on anomalous values when the initial condition is a spike. Depending on the sign of the exponent in the diffusivity the diffusive behavior will then be either sub-diffusive or super-diffusive. We introduce a particle model that behaves according to the non-linear diffusion equation in the macroscopic limit. This correspondence is demonstrated via kinetic theory, i.e. by means of Chapman-Kolmogorov equation, as well as by direct simulations.