The hard sphere "glass transition"

J. M. Gordon, J. H. Gibbs, P. D. Fleming

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


We investigate the existence of a glass transition for the systems of hard spheres studied in computer simulations of molecular dynamics. An empirical best-fit equation of state is established for the metastable (supercooled or supercompressed) hard sphere liquid. Configurational thermodynamic properties are calculated from this, and their significance is discussed. Evidence is presented to support the proposition that a system of hard spheres exhibits a phenomenon similar to a glass transition in which "glass formation" is purely a kinetic phenomenon. For hard spheres there is no underlying second order transition temperature T2. The effective "cooling rate" associated with these computer simulations of molecular dynamics is investigated and found to be enormous (∼1011 deg/sec). The implications of these results with respect to the configurational entropy theory of the glass transition are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2771-2778
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1976
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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