Phase equilibria, phase changes, and mesophases: Analysis and simulation
All matter, from the simplest fluid such as gaseous helium to the most complex system like a biological cell, is made of electrons and nuclei. Electric potentials tend to glue the nuclei together, while kinetic energy, connected to atomic (nuclear) masses moving with given velocities, tends to pull them apart. It is this eternal struggle between electricity and temperature that ultimately gives rise to the entire world as we see it, with its properties and its changes. This chapter focuses on the analysis and simulation of the phase equilibria, phase changes, and mesophases of molecules using a variety of methods such as light scattering, calorimetry, chemical spectroscopy, X-ray scattering and diffraction, electron micrography and atomic force microscopy, and evolutionary molecular simulation. The basic thermodynamic functions are discussed, along with melting, solid–liquid equilibrium and nucleation from the melt, vapor–liquid and vapor–solid equilibrium, glasses, liquid crystals, nucleation and growth from solution, crystal growth and morphology, and prediction of crystal faces, attachments, energies, and morphology.
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