Dynamic phase transitions in biased ensembles of particle systems with repulsive interactions

  • Ian Thompson

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


We study dynamic phase transitions in the constant-volume and constant- pressure ensembles of two different systems: a one-dimensional system of diffusive hard particles and a three-dimensional glass-former of nearly-hard repulsive particles. The dynamic transitions are observed using ensembles of trajectories biased with respect to their dynamic activity, biasing to greater or lower activities than equilibrium allows us to sample different dynamic phases. We perform finite-size scaling of the transitions with respect to sys- tem size and observation time, and compare them to first-order phase tran- sitions. The two ensembles are not equivalent in the one-dimensional model. We compare our results to analytic predictions for diffusive systems in both the active and inactive phases, there are structural signatures for both dy- namic regimes. The active phases show hyperuniform ordering and the inac- tive regimes show jamming behaviour, local jamming in the constant-volume ensemble is achieved through phase separation. In the three-dimensional sys- tem we observe a dynamic transition to a glassy inactive phase, there is no obvious structural change and the structural relaxation time increases sig- nificantly. We take configurations from the active and inactive phases and subject them to a jamming protocol in order to compare the final density of the jammed packings. Previous work shows that the inactive phase of glass-forming systems have a different distribution of vibrational modes and a higher compressibility, this suggests that the jamming behaviour should differ between the two phases. We show that jammed packings generated from inactive configurations are denser than those generated from active configurations.
Date of Award21 Jul 2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorRobert Jack (Supervisor)


  • Dynamic phase transitions
  • Glass transition

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