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Communication: A dynamical theory of homogeneous nucleation for colloids and macromolecules
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17. J. D. Gunton, A. Shiryayev, and D. L. Pagan, Protein Condensation: Kinetic Pathways to Crystallization and Disease (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, England, 2007).
19. D. Wales, Energy Landscapes (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, England, 2003).
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Homogeneous nucleation is formulated within the context of fluctuating hydrodynamics. It is shown that for a colloidal system in the strong damping limit the most likely path for nucleation can be determined by gradient descent in density space governed by a nontrivial metric. This is illustrated by application to low-density/high-density liquid transition of globular proteins in solution where it is shown that nucleation process involves two stages: the formation of an extended region with enhanced density followed by the formation of a cluster within this region.
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