Anomalous structure and dynamics of the Gaussian-core fluid Academic Article uri icon


  • It is known that there are thermodynamic states for which the Gaussian-core fluid displays anomalous properties such as expansion upon isobaric cooling (density anomaly) and increased single-particle mobility upon isothermal compression (self-diffusivity anomaly). Here, we investigate how temperature and density affect its short-range translational structural order, as characterized by the two-body excess entropy. We find that there is a wide range of conditions for which the short-range translational order of the Gaussian-core fluid decreases upon isothermal compression (structural order anomaly). As we show, the origin of the structural anomaly is qualitatively similar to that of other anomalous fluids (e.g., water or colloids with short-range attractions) and is connected to how compression affects static correlations at different length scales. Interestingly, we find that the self-diffusivity of the Gaussian-core fluid obeys a scaling relationship with the two-body excess entropy that is very similar to the one observed for a variety of simple liquids. One consequence of this relationship is that the state points for which structural, self-diffusivity, and density anomalies of the Gaussian-core fluid occur appear as cascading regions on the temperature-density plane; a phenomenon observed earlier for models of waterlike fluids. There are, however, key differences between the anomalies of Gaussian-core and waterlike fluids, and we discuss how those can be qualitatively understood by considering the respective interparticle potentials of these models. Finally, we note that the self-diffusivity of the Gaussian-core fluid obeys different scaling laws depending on whether the two-body or total excess entropy is considered. This finding, which deserves more comprehensive future study, appears to underscore the significance of higher-body correlations for the behavior of fluids with bounded interactions.

published proceedings

  • Physical Review E

author list (cited authors)

  • Krekelberg, W. P., Kumar, T., Mittal, J., Errington, J. R., & Truskett, T. M.

publication date

  • January 1, 2009 11:11 AM