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S. Z. Mirzaev, T. Heimburg and U. Kaatze. 2010. Interference of mesoscales in the critical behaviour of polystyrene - cyclohexane: heat capacity and mass density. Phys. Rev. E Phys. Rev. E 82: 061502 abstract77

At temperatures between 7.5°C and 20°C as well as 26°C and 40°C we have recorded the densities and specific heats at constant pressure for critical mixtures of polystyrene in cyclohexane. The degrees of polymerization were N = 288 (critical temperature Tc = 9.77°C) and N = 6242 (Tc = 27.56°C), respectively. In the two-phase regime a series of reproducible events exists in the specific heat traces, indicating the existence of non-equilibrium intermediate states as likely resulting from an oscillatory instability of droplet formation. In the one-phase-region the critical contribution to the heat capacity follows power law with critical exponent α = 0.11 compatible with Ising-like criticality. At larger N, however, the critical amplitude of the heat capacity is noticeably smaller than at lower degree of polymerization. This finding is taken an indication of the competition of two mesoscale lengths, the radius of gyration of the polymer and the fluctuation correlation length of the mixture. The density traces reveal marginal deviations from simple linear temperature dependencies. If these deviations are analyzed in terms of critical contributions, different signs in the amplitude result, in conformity with the signs in the pressure dependence of the critical temperature. The absolute values of the amplitudes, however, are substantially larger than predicted from the critical amplitudes of the heat capacities.