A metastable phase lies at a local but not global minimum in free energy, and is resistant to small fluctuations. J. Willard Gibbs described two criteria for a metastable phase: that it must remain stable against a small change over a large area, and that it must remain stable against a large change over a small area.
Read more about this topic: Spinodal Decomposition
Famous quotes containing the word criteria:
“There are ... two minimum conditions necessary and sufficient for the existence of a legal system. On the one hand those rules of behavior which are valid according to the systems ultimate criteria of validity must be generally obeyed, and on the other hand, its rules of recognition specifying the criteria of legal validity and its rules of change and adjudication must be effectively accepted as common public standards of official behavior by its officials.”
—H.L.A. (Herbert Lionel Adolphus)