Reentrant Melting in Polydispersed Hard Spheres

Phys. Rev. Lett. 82, 1979 – Published 1 March 1999
Paul Bartlett and Patrick B. Warren


The effect of polydispersity on the freezing transition of hard spheres is examined within a moment description. At low polydispersities a single fluid-to-crystal transition is recovered. With increasing polydispersity we find a density above which the crystal melts back into an amorphous phase. The range of densities over which the crystalline phase is stable shrinks with increasing polydispersity until, at a certain level of polydispersity, the crystal disappears completely from the equilibrium phase diagram. The two transitions converge to a single point which we identify as the polydisperse analog of a point of equal concentration. At this point, the freezing transition is continuous in a thermodynamic sense.


  • Received 1 June 1998
  • Published in the issue dated 1 March 1999

© 1999 The American Physical Society

Authors & Affiliations

Paul Bartlett

  • Department of Chemistry, University of Bath, Bath, BA2 7AY, United Kingdom

Patrick B. Warren

  • Unilever Research, Port Sunlight Laboratory, Quarry Road East, Bebington, Wirral, L63 3JW, United Kingdom

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