The Dynamics of Phase Separation Near the Critical Point: Spinodal Decomposition and Nucleation

  • Walter I. Goldburg
Part of the NATO Advanced Study Institutes Series book series (NSSB, volume 73)


It is useful to view phase separation as occurring either by nucleation or by spinodal decomposition. Nucleation is associated with metastability, i.e. the existence of an energy barrier and the occurrence of a rare but large energy fluctuation.1–4 Spinodal decomposition, on the other hand, refers to phase separation in an initially unstable system; one in which even the smallest fluctuation will grow because an energy barrier is negligible or zero.5–7


Cloud Point Binary Mixture Completion Time Spinodal Decomposition Nucleation Theory 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Walter I. Goldburg
    • 1
  1. 1.Physics DepartmentUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

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