Explaining why simple liquids are quasi-universal

AK Bacher and TB Schroder and JC Dyre, NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, 5, 5424 (2014).

DOI: 10.1038/ncomms6424

It has been known for a long time that many simple liquids have surprisingly similar structure as quantified, for example, by the radial distribution function. A much more recent realization is that the dynamics are also very similar for a number of systems with quite different pair potentials. Systems with such non-trivial similarities are generally referred to as 'quasi-universal'. From the fact that the exponentially repulsive pair potential has strong virial potential- energy correlations in the low-temperature part of its thermodynamic phase diagram, we here show that a liquid is quasi-universal if its pair potential can be written approximately as a sum of exponential terms with numerically large prefactors. Based on evidence from the literature we moreover conjecture the converse, that is, that quasi-universality only applies for systems with this property.

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