Thermodynamic stability of hard sphere crystals in dimensions 3 through 10.

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Although much is known about the metastable liquid branch of hard spheres-from low dimension d up to [Formula: see text]-its crystal counterpart remains largely unexplored for [Formula: see text]. In particular, it is unclear whether the crystal phase is thermodynamically stable in high dimensions and thus whether a mean-field theory of crystals can ever be exact. In order to determine the stability range of hard sphere crystals, their equation of state is here estimated from numerical simulations, and fluid-crystal coexistence conditions are determined using a generalized Frenkel-Ladd scheme to compute absolute crystal free energies. The results show that the crystal phase is stable at least up to [Formula: see text], and the dimensional trends suggest that crystal stability likely persists well beyond that point.





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Charbonneau, Patrick, Caitlin M Gish, Robert S Hoy and Peter K Morse (2021). Thermodynamic stability of hard sphere crystals in dimensions 3 through 10. The European physical journal. E, Soft matter, 44(8). p. 101. 10.1140/epje/s10189-021-00104-y Retrieved from

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Patrick Charbonneau

Professor of Chemistry

Professor Charbonneau studies soft matter. His work combines theory and simulation to understand the glass problem, protein crystallization, microphase formation, and colloidal assembly in external fields.

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