157 research outputs found

    Glassy behavior of a homopolymer from molecular dynamics simulations

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    We study at- and out-of-equilibrium dynamics of a single homopolymer chain at low temperature using molecular dynamics simulations. The main quantities of interest are the average root mean square displacement of the monomers below the theta point, and the structure factor, as a function of time. The observation of these quantities show a close resemblance to those measured in structural glasses and suggest that the polymer chain in its low temperature phase is in a glassy phase, with its dynamics dominated by traps. In equilibrium, at low temperature, we observe the trapping of the monomers and a slowing down of the overall motion of the polymer as well as non-exponential relaxation of the structure factor. In out-of-equilibrium, at low temperatures, we compute the two-time quantities and observe breaking of ergodicity in a range of waiting times, with the onset of aging.Comment: 11 pages, 4 figure

    Anomalous dynamical light scattering in soft glassy gels

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    We compute the dynamical structure factor S(q,tau) of an elastic medium where force dipoles appear at random in space and in time, due to `micro-collapses' of the structure. Various regimes are found, depending on the wave vector q and the collapse time. In an early time regime, the logarithm of the structure factor behaves as (q tau)^{3/2}, as predicted by Cipelletti et al. [1] using heuristic arguments. However, in an intermediate time regime we rather obtain a q tau)^{5/4} behaviour. Finally, the asymptotic long time regime is found to behave as q^{3/2} tau. We also give a plausible scenario for aging, in terms of a strain dependent energy barrier for micro-collapses. The relaxation time is found to grow with the age t_w, quasi-exponentially at first, and then as t_w^{4/5} with logarithmic corrections.Comment: 15 pages, 1 .eps figure. Submitted to EPJ-

    Glassy effects in the swelling/collapse dynamics of homogeneous polymers

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    We investigate, using numerical simulations and analytical arguments, a simple one dimensional model for the swelling or the collapse of a closed polymer chain of size N, representing the dynamical evolution of a polymer in a \Theta-solvent that is rapidly changed into a good solvent (swelling) or a bad solvent (collapse). In the case of swelling, the density profile for intermediate times is parabolic and expands in space as t^{1/3}, as predicted by a Flory-like continuum theory. The dynamics slows down after a time \propto N^2 when the chain becomes stretched, and the polymer gets stuck in metastable `zig-zag' configurations, from which it escapes through thermal activation. The size of the polymer in the final stages is found to grow as \sqrt{\ln t}. In the case of collapse, the chain very quickly (after a time of order unity) breaks up into clusters of monomers (`pearls'). The evolution of the chain then proceeds through a slow growth of the size of these metastable clusters, again evolving as the logarithm of time. We enumerate the total number of metastable states as a function of the extension of the chain, and deduce from this computation that the radius of the chain should decrease as 1/\ln(\ln t). We compute the total number of metastable states with a given value of the energy, and find that the complexity is non zero for arbitrary low energies. We also obtain the distribution of cluster sizes, that we compare to simple `cut-in-two' coalescence models. Finally, we determine the aging properties of the dynamical structure. The subaging behaviour that we find is attributed to the tail of the distribution at small cluster sizes, corresponding to anomalously `fast' clusters (as compared to the average). We argue that this mechanism for subaging might hold in other slowly coarsening systems.Comment: 35 pages, 12 .ps figures. Submitted to EPJ

    Investigation of qq-dependent dynamical heterogeneity in a colloidal gel by x-ray photon correlation spectroscopy

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    We use time-resolved X-Photon Correlation Spectroscopy to investigate the slow dynamics of colloidal gels made of moderately attractive carbon black particles. We show that the slow dynamics is temporally heterogeneous and quantify its fluctuations by measuring the variance χ\chi of the instantaneous intensity correlation function. The amplitude of dynamical fluctuations has a non-monotonic dependence on scattering vector qq, in stark contrast with recent experiments on strongly attractive colloidal gels [Duri and Cipelletti, \textit{Europhys. Lett.} \textbf{76}, 972 (2006)]. We propose a simple scaling argument for the qq-dependence of fluctuations in glassy systems that rationalizes these findings.Comment: Final version published in PR

    Correlated percolation models of structured habitat in ecology

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    Percolation offers acknowledged models of random media when the relevant medium characteristics can be described as a binary feature. However, when considering habitat modeling in ecology, a natural constraint comes from nearest-neighbor correlations between the suitable/unsuitable states of the spatial units forming the habitat. Such constraints are also relevant in the physics of aggregation where underlying processes may lead to a form of correlated percolation. However, in ecology, the processes leading to habitat correlations are in general not known or very complex. As proposed by Hiebeler [Ecology {\bf 81}, 1629 (2000)], these correlations can be captured in a lattice model by an observable aggregation parameter qq, supplementing the density pp of suitable sites. We investigate this model as an instance of correlated percolation. We analyze the phase diagram of the percolation transition and compute the cluster size distribution, the pair-connectedness function C(r)C(r) and the correlation function g(r)g(r). We find that while g(r)g(r) displays a power-law decrease associated with long-range correlations in a wide domain of parameter values, critical properties are compatible with the universality class of uncorrelated percolation. We contrast the correlation structures obtained respectively for the correlated percolation model and for the Ising model, and show that the diversity of habitat configurations generated by the Hiebeler model is richer than the archetypal Ising model. We also find that emergent structural properties are peculiar to the implemented algorithm, leading to questioning the notion of a well-defined model of aggregated habitat. We conclude that the choice of model and algorithm have strong consequences on what insights ecological studies can get using such models of species habitat

    Spatial correlations in the relaxation of the Kob-Andersen model

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    We describe spatio-temporal correlations and heterogeneities in a kinetically constrained glassy model, the Kob-Andersen model. The kinetic constraints of the model alone induce the existence of dynamic correlation lengths, that increase as the density ρ\rho increases, in a way compatible with a double-exponential law. We characterize in detail the trapping time correlation length, the cooperativity length, and the distribution of persistent clusters of particles. This last quantity is related to the typical size of blocked clusters that slow down the dynamics for a given density.Comment: 7 pages, 6 figures, published version (title has changed
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