On polydispersity and the hard-sphere glass transition

Emanuela Zaccarelli, Siobhan M. Liddle, Wilson C. K. Poon

Research output: Working paper


We simulate the dynamics of polydisperse hard spheres at high packing fractions, $\phi$, with an experimentally-realistic particle size distribution (PSD) and other commonly-used PSDs such as gaussian or top hat. We find that the mode of kinetic arrest depends on the PSD's shape and not only on its variance. For the experimentally-realistic PSD, the largest particles undergo an ideal glass transition at $\phi\sim 0.588$ while the smallest particles remain mobile. Such species-specific localisation was previously observed only in asymmetric binary mixtures. Our findings suggest that the recent observation of ergodic behavior up to $\phi \sim 0.6$ in a hard-sphere system is not evidence for activated dynamics, but an effect of polydispersity.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2013


  • cond-mat.soft


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