Experimental Evidence for a Structural-Dynamical Transition in Trajectory Space

Rattachai Pinchaipat, Matteo Campo, Francesco Turci, James Hallett, Thomas Speck, Cp Royall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)
208 Downloads (Pure)


Among the key insights into the glass transition has been the identification of a non-equilibrium phase transition in trajectory space which reveals phase coexistence between the normal supercooled liquid (active phase) and a glassy state (inactive phase). Here we present evidence that such a transition occurs in experiment. In colloidal hard spheres we find a non-Gaussian distribution of trajectories leaning towards those rich in locally favoured structures (LFS), associated with the emergence of slow dynamics. This we interpret as evidence for an non-equilibrium transition to an inactive LFS-rich phase. Reweighting trajectories reveals a first-order phase transition in trajectory space between a normal liquid and a LFS-rich phase. We further find evidence of a purely dynamical transition in trajectory space.
Original languageEnglish
Article number028004
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number2
Early online date13 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jul 2017


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