Equilibrium Simulations of Supercooled Liquids Beyond Laboratory Timescales
Ludovic Berthier (University of Cambridge )
3.21, HH Wills Physics Laboratory
Computer simulations give unique insights into the microscopic behavior of disordered and amorphous materials, but typical simulated timescales are orders of magnitude shorter than experimentally relevant ones. In particular, simulations of supercooled liquids performed with standard techniques cover at most 4-5 decades of viscous slowing down, far behind the 13 decades commonly accessible in experimental studies. Recently, we have closed this enormous gap for a class of realistic models of liquids, which we can successfully equilibrate beyond laboratory time scales by means of a swap Monte Carlo algorithm. For some models, we achieve over 11 orders of magnitude speedup in equilibration timescale. This exciting numerical advance allows us to address some outstanding questions concerning the formation and properties of glasses in a dynamical range that remains inaccessible in experiments, such as the relevance of an entropy crisis underlying glass formation, the kinetics of ultrastable glasses, and the mechanical properties of realistic amorphous solids.
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