[099] A Two-parameter Extension of Classical Nucleation Theory

James F. Lutsko and Miguel A. Durán-Olivencia, "A Two-parameter Extension of Classical Nucleation Theory", J. Phys. Cond. Matt., 27, 235101 (2015) http://jimlutsko.github.io/files/Lutsko_JPCM_2015_1.pdf


A two-variable stochastic model for diffusion-limited nucleation is developed using a formalism derived from fluctuating hydrodynamics. The model is a direct generalization of the standard Classical Nucleation Theory. The nucleation rate and pathway are calculated in the weak-noise approximation and are shown to be in good agreement with direct numerical simulations for the weak-solution/strong-solution transition in globular proteins. We find that Classical Nucleation Theory underestimates the time needed for the formation of a critical cluster by two orders of magnitude and that this discrepancy is due to the more complex dynamics of the two variable model and not, as often is assumed, a result of errors in the estimation of the free energy barrier.