Projected free energies for polydisperse phase equilibria

P Sollich, M E Cates

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A "polydisperse" system has an infinite number of conserved densities. We give a rational procedure for projecting its infinite-dimensional free energy surface onto a subspace comprising a finite number of linear combinations of densities ("moments"), in which the phase behavior is then found as usual. If the excess free energy of the system depends only on the moments used, exact cloud, shadow, and spinodal curves result; two-phase and multiphase regions are approximate, but refinable indefinitely by adding extra moments. The approach is computationally robust and gives new geometrical insights into the thermodynamics of polydispersity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1365-1368
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 16 Feb 1998


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