The topography of the multidimensional potential energy landscape is receiving much attention as a useful object of study for understanding complex behavior in condensed-phase systems. Examples include protein folding, the glass transition, and fracture dynamics in solids. The manner in which a system explores its underlying energy landscape as a function of temperature offers insight into its dynamic behavior. Similarly, sampling in density, in particular the relationship between the pressure of mechanically stable configurations and their bulk density (the equation of state of the energy landscape), provides fresh insights into the mechanical strength of amorphous materials and suggests a previously unexplored connection with the spinodal curve of a superheated liquid. Mean-field calculations show a convergence at low temperature between the superheated liquid spinodal and the pressure-dependent Kauzmann locus, along which the difference in entropy between a supercooled liquid and its stable crystalline form vanishes. This convergence appears to have implications for the glass transition. Application of these ideas to water sheds new light into this substance's behavior under conditions of low-temperature metastability with respect to its crystalline phases.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Materials Chemistry