Droplets and the configurational entropy crisis for random first-order transitions
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University
9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093-0371, USA
Accepted: 2 September 2002
We consider the effect of droplet excitations in the random first-order transition theory of glasses on the configurational entropy. The contribution of these excitations is estimated both at and above the ideal glass transition temperature. The temperature range where such excitations could conceivably modify or “round-out” an underlying glass transition temperature is estimated, and found to depend strongly on the surface tension between locally metastable phases in the supercooled liquid. For real structural glasses this temperature range is found to be very narrow, consistent with the quantitative success of the theory. For certain finite-range spin-glass models, however, the surface tension is estimated to be significantly lower leading to much stronger entropy renormalizations, thus providing an explanation for the lack of a strict thermodynamic glass transition in simulations of these models.
PACS: 64.70.Pf – Glass transitions / 75.10.Nr – Spin-glass and other random models
© EDP Sciences, 2002