High-level virial theory of hard spheroids

Matthew Dennison, Andrew J. Masters

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    We present a method for calculating high-order virial expansions of the isotropic-nematic phase transition which we apply here to hard spheroids. Studying a range of aspect ratios, for both oblate and prolate particles, we obtain equations of state, coexistence densities, and nematic order parameters, using expansions truncated at up to eighth virial level. For particles of large aspect ratios our results show rapid convergence, with truncation at sixth order sufficient to give excellent agreement with simulation data. For more spherical particles the convergence is less rapid, with results for up to eighth-order theory approaching but still not reaching simulation data. Our results indicate that high-order viral expansions are better suited to predicting equations of state than coexistence densities. We also test the validity of using the Onsager trial function to approximate the orientational distribution function, finding only small errors when making this approximation. © 2011 American Physical Society.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number021709
    JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 25 Aug 2011


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