Scaling regimes and fluctuations of observables in computer glasses approaching the unjamming transition

Julia A. Giannini, Edan Lerner, Francesco Zamponi, M. Lisa Manning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Under decompression, disordered solids undergo an unjamming transition where they become under-coordinated and lose their structural rigidity. The mechanical and vibrational properties of these materials have been an object of theoretical, numerical, and experimental research for decades. In the study of low-coordination solids, understanding the behavior and physical interpretation of observables that diverge near the transition is of particular importance. Several such quantities are length scales (ξ or l) that characterize the size of excitations, the decay of spatial correlations, the response to perturbations, or the effect of physical constraints in the boundary or bulk of the material. Additionally, the spatial and sample-to-sample fluctuations of macroscopic observables such as contact statistics or elastic moduli diverge approaching unjamming. Here, we discuss important connections between all of these quantities and present numerical results that characterize the scaling properties of sample-to-sample contact and shear modulus fluctuations in ensembles of low-coordination disordered sphere packings and spring networks. Overall, we highlight three distinct scaling regimes and two crossovers in the disorder quantifiers χz and χμ as functions of system size N and proximity to unjamming δz. As we discuss, χX relates to the standard deviation σX of the sample-to-sample distribution of the quantity X (e.g., excess coordination δz or shear modulus μ) for an ensemble of systems. Importantly, χμ has been linked to experimentally accessible quantities that pertain to sound attenuation and the density of vibrational states in glasses. We investigate similarities and differences in the behaviors of χz and χμ near the transition and discuss the implications of our findings on current literature, unifying findings in previous studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number034502
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Volume160
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 21 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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