On melting dynamics and the glass transition. II. Glassy dynamics as a melting process


There are deep analogies between the melting dynamics in systems with a first-order phase transition and the dynamics from equilibrium in super-cooled liquids. For a class of Ising spin models undergoing a first-order transition—namely p-spin models on the so-called Nishimori line—it can be shown that the melting dynamics can be exactly mapped to the equilibrium dynamics. In this mapping the dynamical—or mode-coupling—glass transition corresponds to the spinodal point, while the Kauzmann transition corresponds to the first-order phase transition itself. Both in mean field and finite dimensional models this mapping provides an exact realization of the random first-order theory scenario for the glass transition. The corresponding glassy phenomenology can then be understood in the framework of a standard first-order phase transition.

J. Chem. Phys.