Quantitative theory of a time-correlation function in a one-component glass-forming liquid with anisotropic potential

Edan Lerner, Itamar Procaccia, Ido Regev

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Abstract

The Shintani-Tanaka model is a glass-forming system whose constituents interact via an anisotropic potential depending on the angle of a unit vector carried by each particle. The decay of time-correlation functions of the unit vectors exhibits the characteristics of generic relaxation functions during glass transitions. In particular it exhibits a stretched exponential form, with the stretching index β depending strongly on the temperature. We construct a quantitative theory of this correlation function by analyzing all the physical processes that contribute to it, separating a rotational from a translational decay channel. These channels exhibit different relaxation times, each with its own temperature dependence. Interestingly, the separate decay function of each of these processes is a temperature-independent function, and is shown to scale (exhibit data collapse) at different temperatures. Taken together with temperature-dependent weights determined a priori by statistical mechanics this allows one to generate the observed correlation function in quantitative agreement with simulations at different temperatures. This underlines the danger of concluding anything about glassy relaxation functions without detailed physical scrutiny.

Original languageEnglish GB
Article number031501
JournalPhysical Review E
Volume79
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2009

Keywords

  • glass transition
  • statistical mechanics
  • vitrification

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