The Kirkwood-Buff (KB) theory of solutions, published in 1951, established a route from integrals over radial (pair) distribution functions (RDFs) in the grand canonical ensemble to a set of thermodynamic quantities in an equivalent closed ensemble. These “KB integrals” (KBIs) can also be expressed in terms of the particle-particle (i.e., concentration or density) fluctuations within grand canonical ensemble regions. Contributions by Ben-Naim in 1977 provided the means to obtain the KBIs if one already knew the set of thermodynamic quantities for the mixture of interest; that is, he provided the inversion procedure. Thus, KB theory provides a two-way bridge between local (microscopic) and global (bulk/thermodynamic) properties. Due to its lack of approximations, its wide ranging applicability, and the absence of a competitive theory for rigorously understanding liquid mixtures, it has been used

to understand solution microheterogeneity, solute solubility, cosolvent effects on biomolecules, preferential solvation, etc. Here, after using KB theory to test the accuracy of pair potentials, we present and illustrate two extensions of the

theory, resulting in a general Fluctuation Solution Theory (FST). First, we generalize KB theory to include two-way relationships between the grand canonical ensemble’s particle-energy and energy-energy fluctuations and additional thermodynamic quantities. This extension allows for non-isothermal conditions to be considered, unlike traditional KB theory. We illustrate these new relationships using analyses of experimental data and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations for pure liquids and binary mixtures. Furthermore, we use it to obtain conformation-specific infinitely

dilute partial molar volumes and compressibilities for proteins (other properties will follow) from MD simulations and compare the method to a non-FST method for obtaining the same properties. The second extension of KB theory involves moving beyond doublet particle fluctuations to additionally consider triplet and quadruplet particle fluctuations, which are related to derivatives of the thermodynamic properties involved in regular KB theory. We present these higher order fluctuations obtained from experiment and simulation for pure liquids and binary mixtures. Using the newfound experimental third and fourth cumulants of the distribution of particles in solution, which can be extracted from bulk thermodynamic data using this extension, we also probe particle distributions’ non-Gaussian nature.