Time-Dependent Solutions to Fick’s Equations

Many other solutions to the diffusion equation and techniques for solving it are known. See Crank (1975) and Carslaw and Jaeger (1959).

Random Walks in Biology, by Howard Berg.

Time-dependent solutions to Fick’s equations

One way to find solutions to Fick’s equations is to look them up! An excellent source is Carslaw and Jaeger (1959), a book dealing with the conduction of heat in solids. The heat equation has the same form as the diffusion equation [see Chapter 4, Homework Problem 19 in IPMB]. In the notation of Carslaw and Jaeger,

where ν is the temperature and κ is the thermal diffusivity. So, take their results and read C for ν and D for κ. Sources that do not require such translation include Crank (1975) and Jost (1960). But this strategy requires luck. If you happen to find a discussion of just the problem that you are trying to solve, well and good. If not, you will soon be lost in a morass of complex equations.

Jost, W. 1960. Diffusion in Solids, Liquids, Gases. Academic.

F. Wilhelm Jost


Professor Dr. sc. nat. Dres. h. c. W. Jost died on September 25, 1988 in G6ttingen. W. Jost was a preeminent scientist who pioneered research and development in combustion, reaction-kinetics in gases and solids, diffusion in solids and phase separation. He authored several monographs that have become classics in the field, among them “Explosions- und Verbrennungsvorg/inge in Gasen” with English and Russian editions. Several Academies of Science elected him as a member and he served on the boards of many scientific societies.

W. Jost was a director of the International Combustion Institute for decades and he founded and directed its German section. His many distinguished awards include the Institute’s Sir Alfred Egerton Gold Medal.

F. W. Jost was born in Friedberg in Hessen. He studied chemistry in Halle and Munich and received his Dr. sc. nat. degree in chemistry from the University of Halle in 1926. He then joined M. Bodenstein in Berlin where his work on gas kinetics and hydrocarbon oxidation started. In 1929 Jost became Privatdozent in Hannover. From 1932 to 1933 he spent a year at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he founded the basis for the understanding of disorder energies. In 1937 W. lost became a Professor of Physical Chemistry in Leipzig, in 1943 at the University of Marburg and 1951 in Darmstadt, in 1952 he accepted a call to the chair of W. Nernst at the University in G6ttingen.

On the occasion of the honorary promotion in Cambridge it was stated: “This man has always shown himself zealous for liberty, careful of truth and thoroughly civilized”.

The members of the International Combustion Institute express their deep sympathy to his wife and his family.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store