Hunt (1982) and Friedlander (1960a, b) used dimensional analysis to derive expressions for the steady-state particle-size distribution in aerosols and hydrosols. Their results were supported by the Monte Carlo simulation of a non-interacting coagulating population of suspended spherical particles developed by Pearson, Valioulis & List (1984). Here the realism of the Monte Carlo simulation is improved by accounting for the modification to the coagulation rate caused by van der Waals', electrostatic and hydrodynamic forces acting between particles. The results indicate that the major hypothesis underlying the dimensional reasoning, that is, collisions between particles of similar size are most important in determining the shape of the particle size distribution, is valid only for shear-induced coagulation. It is shown that dimensional analysis cannot, in general, be used to predict equilibrium particle-size distributions, mainly because of the strong dependence of the interparticle force on the absolute and relative size of the interacting particles.
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