Two-State Thermodynamics of Supercooled Water

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Water has been called the “most studied and least understood” of all liquids, and upon supercooling its behavior becomes even more anomalous. One particularly fruitful hypothesis posits a liquid-liquid critical point terminating a line of liquid-liquid phase transitions that lies just beyond the reach of experiment. Underlying this hypothesis is the conjecture that there is a competition between two distinct hydrogen-bonding structures of liquid water, one associated with high density and entropy and the other with low density and entropy. The competition between these structures is hypothesized to lead at very low temperatures to a phase transition between a phase rich in the high-density structure and one rich in the low-density structure. Equations of state based on this conjecture have given an excellent account of the thermodynamic properties of supercooled water. In this thesis, I extend that line of research. I treat supercooled aqueous solutions and anomalous behavior of the thermal conductivity of supercooled water. I also address supercooled water at negative pressures, leading to a framework for a coherent understanding of the thermodynamics of water at low temperatures. I supplement analysis of experimental results with data from the TIP4P/2005 model of water, and include an extensive analysis of the thermodynamics of this model.