Statistics of small length scale density fluctuations in supercooled viscous liquids

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Many successful theories of liquids near the melting temperature assume that small length scale density fluctuations follow Gaussian statistics. This paper presents a numerical investigation of density fluctuations in the supercooled viscous regime using an enhanced sampling method. Five model systems are investigated: the single component Lennard-Jones liquid, the Kob-Andersen binary mixture, the Wahnström binary mixture, the Lewis-Wahnström model of ortho-terphenyl, and the TIP4P/Ice model of water. The results show that the Gaussian approximation persists to a good degree into the supercooled viscous regime; however, it is less accurate at low temperatures. The analysis suggests that non-Gaussian fluctuations are related to crystalline configurations. Implications for theories of the glass transition are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number094505
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number9
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2019

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