Just another WordPress site - Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Flow heterogeneity and correlations in a sheared hard sphere glass: insight from computer simulations
Understanding the origin of flow heterogeneity in glassy systems is of high interest both due to its importance from theoretical standpoint as well as due to its occurrence in a large number of practical situations such as the flow of the so-called soft-glassy materials (foams, colloidal suspensions, granular media, etc). Detailed experimental investigations do indeed confirm that the flow of driven amorphous solids is not homogeneous, even if the macroscopic stress is constant across the system. We study this issue via large scale event driven molecular dynamics simulations of a hard sphere glass. We observe significant fluctuations of the velocity profile with a time scale of the order of a few hundreds percent strain. Furthermore, there appears to be a correlation between the fluctuations of the local volume fraction and the fluctuations of the local shear rate. The time scales of the fluctuations of density and shear rate are practically identical. These observations motivate an interpretation of our results via the shear concentration coupling (SCC) theory. A detailed comparison, however, reveals serious inconsistencies. In particular, the amplitude of the fluctuations of the shear rate seems to be decoupled from that of density, a feature which is rather unexpected within the SCC picture. An alternative interpretation of our observations is also discussed invoking dynamic heterogeneity.