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Comment on"Elucidating the Mechanism of Nucleation near the Gas-Liquid Spinodal"

Description: In a recent Letter [1], Bhimalapuram, Chakrabarty and Bagchi (BCB) study the phase transformation mechanism of the Lennard-Jones fluid and the non-conserved Ising model. They compute the free energy as a function of the size of the largest droplet of the stable phase. In apparent contradiction to classical nucleation theory (CNT), they find that in both systems the free energy develops a minimum at subcritical cluster sizes. In this Comment we argue that this minimum is specific to the chosen order parameter, and that the observed behavior is in fact consistent with CNT. CNT states that the free energy F(N) of a single cluster of size N is a concave function with a maximum at the critical nucleus size N{sub c}. BCB, on the other hand, calculate the probability distribution of N*, the size of the largest cluster in the system, and compute the free energy {beta}F*(N*) = -ln P(N*), where {beta} = 1/k{sub B}T. This order parameter does not measure the size of a single cluster. Instead, when sampling small values of N*, one measures the statistical weight of configurations in which all clusters are at most N* in size. Hence a free energy penalty is incurred when one constrains N* to values smaller than the largest average cluster in the simulation volume V. It is this penalty that causes the sudden increase of F* as N* {yields} 0 and the minimum at intermediate values of N*. We now illustrate how F(N) can be calculated from simulations. Our argument is intuitive but not exact, a formal derivation that yields an equivalent result can be found in Ref. 2. We choose the Ising model for concreteness. We aim to compute the probability that a given cluster has size N, where we imagine the center of the cluster to be fixed ...
Date: June 18, 2008
Creator: Maibaum, Lutz & Maibaum, Lutz
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Phase transformation near the classical limit of stability

Description: Successful theories of phase transformation processes include classical nucleation theory (CNT), which envisions a local equilibrium between coexisting phases, and non--equilibrium kinetic cluster theories. Using computer simulations of the magnetization reversal of the Ising model in three different ensembles we make quantitative connections between these physical pictures. We show that the critical nucleus size of CNT is strongly correlated with a dynamical measure of metastability, and that the metastable phase persists to thermodynamic conditions previously thought of as unstable.
Date: November 6, 2008
Creator: Maibaum, Lutz
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Segue between Favorable and Unfavorable Solvation

Description: Solvation of small and large clusters are studied by simulation, considering a range of solvent-solute attractive energy strengths. Over a wide range of conditions, both for solvation in the Lennard-Jones liquid and in the SPC model of water, it is shown that the mean solvent density varies linearly with changes in solvent-solute adhesion or attractive energy strength. This behavior is understood from the perspective of Weeks theory of solvation [Ann. Rev. Phys. Chem. 2002, 53, 533] and supports theories based upon that perspective.
Date: March 21, 2007
Creator: Maibaum, Lutz & Chandler, David
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

De-coupling of exchange and persistence times in atomistic modelsof glass formers

Description: With molecular dynamics simulations of a fluid mixture of classical particles interacting with pair-wise additive Weeks-Chandler-Andersen potentials, we consider the time series of particle displacements and thereby determine distributions for local persistence times and local exchange times. These basic characterizations of glassy dynamics are studied over a range of super-cooled conditions and shown to have behaviors, most notably de-coupling, similar to those found in kinetically constrained lattice models of structural glasses. Implications are noted.
Date: August 15, 2007
Creator: Hedges, Lester O.; Maibaum, Lutz; Chandler, David & Garrahan, Juan P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department