Homogeneous Nucleation

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Significant progress has been made in recent years in measuring homogeneous nucleation rates in a variety of liquid–vapor and liquid–solid transitions. These studies have revealed serious shortcomings of classical nucleation theory. New theoretical work and simulation studies of simplified model systems have provided a better understanding of homogeneous nucleation, but many challenges remain. This article summarizes some recent developments, with an emphasis on the field-theoretic approach pioneered by Cahn and Hilliard in their study of nucleation in a two-component incompressible fluid in 1959.

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