Tapia-Ignacio, C., Garcia-Serrano, J., & Donado, F. (2016). Nonvibrating granular model for a glass-forming liquid: Equilibration and aging. Physical Review E, 94(6), 062902.
We studied experimentally a model of a glass-forming liquid on the basis of a nonvibrating magnetic granular system under an unsteady magnetic field. A sudden quenching was produced that drove the system from a liquid state to a different final state with lower temperature; the latter could be a liquid state or a solid state. We determined the mean-squared displacement in temporal windows to obtain the dynamic evolution of the system, and we determined the radial distribution function to obtain its structural characteristics. The results were analyzed using the intermediate scattering function and the effective potential between two particles. We observed that when quenching drives the system to a final state in the liquid phase far from the glass-transition temperature, equilibration occurs very quickly. When the final state has a temperature far below the glass-transition temperature, the system reaches its equilibrium state very quickly. In contrast, when the final state has an intermediate temperature but is below that corresponding to the glass transition, the system falls into a state that evolves slowly, presenting aging. The system evolves by an aging process toward more ordered states. However, after a waiting time, the dynamic behavior changes. It was observed that some particles get close enough to overpass the repulsive interactions and form small stable aggregates. In the effective potential curves, it was observed that the emergence of a second effective well due to the attraction quickly evolves and results in a deeper well than the initial effective well due to the repulsion. With the increase in time, more particles fall in the attractive well forming inhomogeneities, which produce a frustration in the aging process.