Glass on cooling OR heating

mochrie.jpg

This week’s item is a paper that just appeared on arxiv.org by Simon Mochrie’s Yale group and Argonne collaborators on a unique situation that occurs in a liquid that becomes a glass upon cooling OR heating: X. Lu et al., “How a liquid becomes a glass both on cooling and on heating” arxiv.org/0708.3663v1

Typically we think of glasses that vitrify when the temperature is (suddenly) lowered. The unique situation explored in this paper is a situation where at high temperature system forms a glass dominated by repulsive interactions, and at low temperatures due to attractive interactions.

By tracking the glass transition using coherent x-ray scattering techniques (XPCS in this case) the authors look in great detail at the logarithmically decaying slow fluctuations in the same system under very different circumstances – and therefore able to study not a single but two glass transitions with either repulsive or attractive interactions.

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