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Ice Nucleation
23-24 April 2015

Program Organizers: Roberto Car, Pablo Debenedetti, Frank Stillinger

Despite the importance and ubiquity of the phenomenon, the precise microscopic mechanism of ice nucleation is not well understood, neither do we possess quantitative, predictive knowledge of homogeneous or heterogeneous ice nucleation rates. Because of the central role of ice formation in atmospheric processes, food preservation, and setting a key boundary for the possibility of life under extreme conditions, there exists a large community of experimental and computational scientists working on the problem of understanding, measuring and computing the mechanisms and rates of ice formation under a very broad range of conditions. A two-day workshop that brings together leading theoretical, computational and experimental scientists from among the unusually broad community of researchers interested in ice nucleation has the potential for shaping the research agenda for the next decade in this important area. Some of the topics and questions that would be addressed include:

  • *Mechanism of homogeneous ice nucleation under atmospherically-relevant conditions.
  • *Rate of homogeneous ice nucleation.
  • *Influence of different kinds of surfaces on mechanisms and rates of heterogeneous ice nucleation.
  • * Ice nucleation under extreme conditions (nucleation of different ice polymorphs).
  • *What determines the formation of amorphous vs crystalline atmospheric aerosols?
  • *Computational methods for calculating nucleation rates.
  • *Relationship between ice nucleation and phase behavior of deeply supercooled water.
  • * Thermodynamic, structural and kinetic relationships between crystalline and amorphous ices.
  • *Ice structure: classical and ab-initio predictions.
  • *Ability of different water models to predict the phase behavior of crystalline water over broad ranges of temperature and pressure.
  • *Anti-freeze proteins: structure and mechanism of action.

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