Europhys. Lett.
Volume 65, Number 5, March 2004
Page(s) 685 - 691
Section Condensed matter: structure, mechanical and thermal properties
Published online 01 February 2004
Europhys. Lett., 65 (5) , pp. 685-691 (2004)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2003-10170-7

Field theory of statics and dynamics of glasses: Rare events and barrier distributions

L. Balents1 and P. Le Doussal2

1  Department of Physics, University of California Santa Barbara, CA 93106-4030, USA
2  CNRS-Laboratoire de Physique Théorique de l'Ecole Normale Supérieure 24 Rue Lhomond 75231 Paris, France

(Received 16 September 2003; accepted in final form 17 December 2003)

We study thermally activated dynamics using functional renormalization within the field theory of randomly pinned elastic systems, a prototype for glasses. It appears through an essentially non-perturbative boundary layer in the running effective action, for which we find a consistent scaling ansatz to all orders. We find that in the statics the boundary layer describes the physics of rare low-energy metastable states as suggested by a phenomenological droplet picture. The extension to equilibrium dynamics mandates a non-trivial broad distribution of relaxation times for the large-scale modes, hitherto neglected in analytic calculations.

64.60.Ak - Renormalization-group, fractal, and percolation studies of phase transitions.

© EDP Sciences 2004