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Communication: Thermodynamic signatures of cluster formation in fluids with competing interactions
1. J.-P. Hansen and I. R. McDonald, Theory of Simple Liquids, 3rd ed. (Academic Press, Amsterdam, 2006).
12.See, e.g., J. N. Israelachvili, Intermolecular and Surface Forces (Academic, New York, 1992).
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Convergent theoretical evidence, based on self-consistent integral equations for the pair structure and on Monte Carlo simulations, is presented for the existence of small simultaneous jump discontinuities of several thermodynamic and structural properties of systems of colloidal particles with competing short-range attractive and long-range repulsive interactions, under physical conditions close to the onset of particle clustering. The discontinuities thus provide a signature of the transition from a homogeneous fluid phase to a locally inhomogeneous cluster phase.
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