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Scaling theory for the free-energy barrier to homogeneous nucleation of a noncritical phase near a critical point
1.Here we consider only homogeneous nucleation, nucleation in the bulk, far from any interface. Heterogeneous nucleation, nucleation at an interface, either with a wall or an impurity, is in fact more common, and is not always an activated process.
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18.Classical nucleation theory predicts that for reasonable values of the interfacial tension (here that between the and phases) the will be of the right order for nucleation to occur when the nucleus contains spins. As critical fluctuations change by an amount this conclusion still holds near a critical point.
19.See Ref. 24 for a careful, thermodynamic, derivation of Eq. (11). It is Eq. (24) of this reference. Note that they use language appropriate to fluids, so our is their the excess number of molecules in the nucleus and the field is not h but μ the chemical potential of the molecules.
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