Experimental Evidence for a Structural-Dynamical Transition in Trajectory Space
AbstractAmong the key insights into the glass transition has been the identification of a nonequilibrium phase transition in trajectory space which reveals phase coexistence between the normal supercooled liquid (active phase) and a glassy state (inactive phase). Here, we present evidence that such a transition occurs in experiments. In colloidal hard spheres, we find a non-Gaussian distribution of trajectories leaning towards those rich in locally favored structures (LFSs), associated with the emergence of slow dynamics. This we interpret as evidence for a nonequilibrium transition to an inactive LFS-rich phase. Reweighting trajectories reveals a first-order phase transition in trajectory space between a normal liquid and a LFS-rich phase. We also find evidence for a purely dynamical transition in trajectory space.