Journal of Statistical Physics, Vol. 23, No. 4, 1980. p. 495-520.
The fluctuation growth of a macroscopic bubble containing a vapor in a moderately superheated or tensile-stressed volatile liquid is treated as the two-dimensional diffusion of a nucleus of a new phase in the space of variables made up of its volume v and the pressure of the vapor in it p. The shape of the free energy surface of the system "liquid plus bubble with vapor" in the plane (v; p) in the neighborhood of the labile equilibrium of the system is examined, and a two-dimensional nucleus distribution function given with respect to its variables is derived. Close to the pass in the surface a nondiagonal diffusion tensor in the space (v, p) is also calculated. A two-dimensional stationary equation of the kinetics of the formation of a new phase of Kramers type is solved, and an expression is derived for the probability of homogeneous nucleation for an arbitrary viscosity and volatility of a liquid far from its critical point. Various limiting cases are examined.