Molecular Physics seminar

Surface Phase Transitions and the Surface of Ice

by John Wettlaufer (Nordita)

FB55 ()


The equilibrium state of at least one facet of all solids near their bulk melting points is a liquid, the origin of which are the intermolecular forces between the phases. These forces extend the equilibrium domain of the liquid phase into the solid region of the bulk phase diagram. Morever, the thermomolecular pressures involved with these forces are substantial and in the case of ice have a myriad of effects in the natural environment. Ice thus acts as a test bed for this class of surface phase transitions (which are a special case of triple point wetting) and has immediate consequences in astrophysical and geophysical settings.