Golf-course and funnel energy landscapes: Protein folding concepts in martensites
AbstractWe use protein folding energy landscape concepts such as golf course and funnel to study re-equilibration in athermal martensites under systematic temperature quench Monte Carlo simulations. On quenching below a transition temperature, the seeded high-symmetry parent-phase austenite that converts to the low-symmetry product-phase martensite, through autocatalytic twinning or elastic photocopying, has both rapid conversions and incubation delays in the temperature-time-transformation phase diagram. We find the rapid (incubation delays) conversions at low (high) temperatures arises from the presence of large (small) size of golf-course edge that has the funnel inside for negative energy states. In the incubating state, the strain structure factor enters into the Brillouin-zone golf course through searches for finite transitional pathways which close off at the transition temperature with Vogel-Fulcher divergences that are insensitive to Hamiltonian energy scales and log-normal distributions, as signatures of dominant entropy barriers. The crossing of the entropy barrier is identified through energy occupancy distributions, Monte Carlo acceptance fractions, heat emission, and internal work.