A small subset of normal modes mimics the properties of dynamical heterogeneity in a model supercooled liquid

GM Hocky and DR Reichman, JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 138, 12A537 (2013).

DOI: 10.1063/1.4790799

In this work, we study the nature of transitions between inherent structures of a two-dimensional model supercooled liquid. We demonstrate that these transitions occur predominately along a small number of directions on the energy landscape. Moreover, we show that the number of such directions decreases as the temperature of the liquid is decreased in the mildly supercooled regime, in concert with earlier studies on an athermal jamming system. We show that this decrease happens in parallel with a change in character of the transitions as dynamics in the system become more heterogeneous and localized. We investigate the origin of these trends, which suggests interesting connections between jamming and thermal glassy phenomena. (C) 2013 American Institute of Physics. http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4790799

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