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Freezing of cluster solids and the Gibbs phase rule

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Jonathan Keeling.

Gibbs has said it all: “Two phases are in equilibrium if their temperatures and pressures are equal, as well as the chemical potentials of the constituent components”. Numerical simulations to predict phase diagrams are based on this starting point and all went well…until cluster solids appeared on the scene.

In my talk I will explain what cluster solids are and I will discuss calculations by Bianca Mladek and Patrick Charbonneau that illustrate that the phase behaviour of these materials appeared to violate the phase rule of Gibbs. It all ends well: Gibbs is right, as usual – and we have learned something about crystalline solids.

This talk is part of the Theory of Condensed Matter series.

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