Abstract:
In a recent preprint by Tsang and Danielewicz, the authors attempt to give alternative or trivial explanations for the reducible and "thermal" nature of the intermediate mass fragment excitation functions reported previously (Phys. Rev. Lett. 74, 1530 (1995), Phys. Lett B 361, 25 (1995), Phys. Rep. 287, 249 (1997)). We demonstrate that their proposed "self-correlation" explanation for linear Arrhenius plots is based upon a flawed autocorrelation analysis involving circular reasoning.

Abstract:
Coulomb bubbles, though stable against monopole displacement, are unstable at least with respect to quadrupole and octupole distortions. We show that there exists a temperature at which the pressure of the vapor filling the bubble stabilizes all the radial modes. In extremely thin bubbles, the crispation modes become unstable due to the surface-surface interaction.

Abstract:
Mastinu et al. recently reported the observation of several positive signals possibly indicating critical behavior in peripheral collisions of Au+Au at $E/A$=35 MeV. In our comment, we examine the choice of variables used to determine the presence (or absence) of critical behavior. We do this by repeating the analysis the work of Mastinu et al. on "data" from a simulation with no critical behavior.

Abstract:
First order phase transitions are described in terms of the microcanonical and canonical ensemble, with special attention to finite size effects. Difficulties in interpreting a "caloric curve" are discussed. A robust parameter indicating phase coexistence (univariance) or single phase (bivariance) is extracted for charge distributions.

Abstract:
A recent paper has reported the observation of the rotational band of 254No for spins up to I=20, showing that the compound nucleus was formed and survived fission decay at angular momenta I >= 20. We show that this survival is consistent with the leading effects of angular momentum on the barrier height.

Abstract:
The multiplicity distributions for individual fragment Z values in nuclear multifragmentation are binomial. The extracted maximum value of the multiplicity is found to depend on Z according to m=Z_0/Z, where Z_0 is the source size. This is shown to be a strong indication of statistical coverage of fragmentation phase space. The inferred source sizes coincide with those extracted from the analysis of fixed multiplicity charge distributions.

Abstract:
The resilience to averaging over an initial energy distribution of reducibility and thermal scaling observed in nuclear multifragmentation is studied. Poissonian reducibility and the associated thermal scaling of the mean are shown to be robust. Binomial reducibility and thermal scaling of the elementary probability are robust under a broad range of conditions. The experimental data do not show any indication of deviation due to averaging.

Abstract:
We explore the natural limit of binomial reducibility in nuclear multifragmentation by constructing excitation functions for intermediate mass fragments (IMF) of a given element Z. The resulting multiplicity distributions for each window of transverse energy are Poissonian. Thermal scaling is observed in the linear Arrhenius plots made from the average multiplicity of each element. ``Emission barriers'' are extracted from the slopes of the Arrhenius plots and their possible origin is discussed.

Abstract:
To make a statement about the nature and mechanism of fragmentation, it is necessary to probe directly any competition, or lack thereof, between the emission of various particle species as a function of excitation energy. The task is then to find a global observable that best follows the increase in excitation energy or dissipated energy. In the following, we will consider two contradictory claims that have been advanced recently: 1) the claim for a predominantly dynamical fragment production mechanism; and 2) the claim for a dominant statistical and thermal process. We will present a new analysis in terms of Poissonian reducibility and thermal scaling, which addresses some of the criticisms of the binomial analysis.

Abstract:
Clusters in the three-dimensional Ising model rigorously obey reducibility and thermal scaling up to the critical temperature. The barriers extracted from Arrhenius plots depend on the cluster size as $B \propto A^{\sigma}$ where $\sigma$ is a critical exponent relating the cluster size to the cluster surface. All the Arrhenius plots collapse into a single Fisher-like scaling function indicating liquid-vapor-like phase coexistence and the univariant equilibrium between percolating clusters and finite clusters. The compelling similarity with nuclear multifragmentation is discussed.