Facta universitatis - series: Physics, Chemistry and Technology 2005 Volume 3, Issue 2, Pages: 115-128
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Studying thermodynamics of metastable states

Kornyushin Yuri

Simple classical thermodynamic approach to the general description of metastable states is presented. It makes it possible to calculate the explicit dependence of the Gibbs free energy on temperature, to calculate the heat capacity, the thermodynamic barrier, dividing metastable and more stable states, and the thermal expansion coefficient. Thermodynamic stability under mechanical loading is considered. The influence of the heating (cooling) rate on the measured dynamic heat capacity is investigated. A phase shift of the temperature oscillations of an ac heated sample is shown to be determined by the relaxation time of the relaxation of the metastable nonequilibrium state back to the metastable equilibrium one. This dependence allows one to calculate the relaxation time. A general description of the metastable phase equilibrium is proposed. Metastable states in AB3 alloys are considered. Reasons for the change from the diffusional mechanism of the supercritical nucleus growth to the martensitic one as the heating rate increases are discussed. The Ostwald stage rule is derived.

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