Decoding heat capacity features from the energy landscape

David Wales, Apollo-University Of Cambridge Repository, Apollo-University Of Cambridge Repository
A general scheme is derived to connect transitions in configuration space with features in the heat capacity. A formulation in terms of occupation probabilities for local minima that define the potential energy landscape provides a quantitative description of how contributions arise from competition between different states. The theory does not rely on a structural interpretation for the local minima, so it is equally applicable to molecular energy landscapes and the landscapes defined by
more » ... ct functions. Applications are presented for low temperature solid-solid transitions in atomic clusters, which involve just a few local minima with different morphologies, and for cluster melting, which is driven by the landscape entropy associated with the more numerous high energy minima. Analysing these features in terms of the balance between states with increasing and decreasing occupation probabilities provides a direct interpretation of the underlying transitions. This approach enables us to identify a qualitatively different transition that is caused by a single local minimum associated with an exceptionally large catchment volume in configuration space.
doi:10.17863/cam.36630 fatcat:r4wsvzn36vcntbxkba5zdelcfm