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Abstract: We report the phase diagram of interpenetrating Hertzian spheres. The Hertzpotential is purely repulsive, bounded at zero separation, and decreasesmonotonically as a power law with exponent 5-2, vanishing at the overlappingthreshold. This simple functional describes the elastic interaction of weaklydeformable bodies and, therefore, it is a reliable physical model of softmacromolecules, like star polymers and globular micelles. Using thermodynamicintegration and extensive Monte Carlo simulations, we computed accurate freeenergies of the fluid phase and a large number of crystal structures. For this,we defined a general primitive unit cell that allows for the simulation of anylattice. We found multiple re-entrant melting and first-order transitionsbetween crystals with cubic, trigonal, tetragonal, and hexagonal symmetries.

Autor: Josep C. Pàmies, Angelo Cacciuto, Daan Frenkel


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