|On the overlap between configurations in glassy liquids |
Ref HAL: hal-02925446_v1
Ref Arxiv: 2007.07625
Ref. & Cit.: NASA ADS
Exporter : BibTex | endNote
The overlap, or similarity, between liquid configurations is at the core of the mean-field description of the glass transition, and remains a useful concept when studying three-dimensional glass-forming liquids. In liquids, however, the overlap involves a tolerance, typically of a fraction $a/\sigma$ of the inter-particle distance, associated with how precisely similar two configurations must be for belonging to the same physically relevant "state". Here, we systematically investigate the dependence of the overlap fluctuations and of the resulting phase diagram when the tolerance is varied over a large range. We show that while the location of the dynamical and thermodynamic glass transition (if present) are independent of $a/\sigma$, that of the critical point associated with a transition between a low- and a high-overlap phases in the presence of an applied source nontrivially depends on the value of $a/\sigma$. We rationalize our findings by using liquid-state theory and the hypernetted chain (HNC) approximation for correlation functions. In addition, we confirm the theoretical trends by studying a three-dimensional glass-former by computer simulations. We show in particular that a specific choice of $a/\sigma$ maximizes the temperature of the critical point, pushing it up in a liquid region where viscosity is low and computer investigations are easier due to a significantly faster equilibration.