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Direct Observation of Dynamical Heterogeneities in Colloidal Hard-Sphere Suspensions

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Science  14 Jan 2000:
Vol. 287, Issue 5451, pp. 290-293
DOI: 10.1126/science.287.5451.290

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Abstract

The real-space dynamics in a model system of colloidal hard spheres was studied by means of time-resolved fluorescence confocal scanning microscopy. Direct experimental evidence for the presence of dynamical heterogeneities in a dense liquid was obtained from an analysis of particle trajectories in two-dimensional slices of the bulk sample. These heterogeneities manifest themselves as a non-Gaussian probability distribution of particle displacements and also affect the onset of long-time diffusive behavior.

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