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Shear-Transformation-Zone Theory of Viscosity, Diffusion, and Stretched Exponential Relaxation in Amorphous Solids

By J. S. Langer


The shear-transformation-zone (STZ) theory has been remarkably successful in accounting for broadly peaked, frequency-dependent, viscoelastic responses of amorphous systems near their glass temperatures $T_g$. This success is based on the theory's first-principles prediction of a wide range of internal STZ transition rates. Here, I show that the STZ rate-distribution causes the Newtonian viscosity to be strongly temperature dependent; and I propose that it is this temperature dependence, rather than any heterogeneity-induced enhancement of diffusion, that is responsible for Stokes-Einstein violations near $T_g$. I also show that stretched-exponential relaxation of density fluctuations emerges naturally from the same distribution of STZ transition rates that predicts the viscoelastic behavior. To be consistent with observations of Fickian diffusion near $T_g$, however, an STZ-based diffusion theory somehow must include the cascades of correlated displacement events that are seen in low-temperature numerical simulations.Comment: arXiv admin note: substantial text overlap with arXiv:1108.273

Topics: Condensed Matter - Statistical Mechanics
Year: 2012
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