Phase transition for quenched coupled replicas in a plaquette spin model of glasses

Robert L. Jack, Juan P. Garrahan

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We study a three-dimensional plaquette spin model whose low temperature dynamics is glassy, due to localized defects and effective kinetic constraints. The thermodynamics of this system is smooth at all temperatures. We show that coupling it to a second system with a fixed (quenched) configuration leads to a phase transition, at finite coupling. The order parameter is the overlap between the copies, and the transition is between phases of low and high overlap. We find critical points whose properties are consistent with random-field Ising universality. We analyze the interfacial free energy cost between the high- and low-overlap states that coexist at (and below) the critical point, and we use this cost as the basis for a finite-size scaling analysis. We discuss these results in the context of mean-field and dynamical facilitation theories of the glass transition.

Original languageEnglish
Article number055702
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 5 Feb 2016


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