Solidity of viscous liquids. IV. Density fluctuations

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This paper is the fourth in a series exploring the physical consequences of the solidity of highly viscous liquids. It is argued that the two basic characteristics of a flow event (a jump between two energy minima in configuration space) are the local density change and the sum of all particle displacements. Based on this it is proposed that density fluctuations are described by a time-dependent Ginzburg-Landau equation with rates in k space of the form C+Dk^2 with D>>C a^2 where a is the average intermolecular distance. The inequality expresses a long-wavelength dominance of the dynamics which implies that the Hamiltonian (free energy) may be taken to be ultralocal. As an illustration of the theory the case with the simplest nontrivial Hamiltonian is solved to second order in the Gaussian approximation, where it predicts an asymmetric frequency dependence of the isothermal bulk modulus with Debye behavior at low frequencies and an omega^{−1/2} decay of the loss at high frequencies. Finally, a general formalism for the description of viscous liquid dynamics, which supplements the density dynamics by including stress fields, a potential energy field, and molecular orientational fields, is proposed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPhysical Review E (Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics)
Pages (from-to)021502
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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