We formally extend the energy landscape approach for the thermodynamics of liquids to account for saddle points. By considering the extensive nature of macroscopic potential energies, we derive the scaling behavior of saddles with system size, as well as several approximations for the properties of low-order saddles (i.e., those with only a few unstable directions). We then cast the canonical partition function in a saddle-explicit form and develop, for the first time, a rigorous energy landscape approach capable of reproducing trends observed in simulations, in particular, the temperature dependence of the energy and fractional order of sampled saddles.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)