Low-Temperature Relaxation and Entropic Barriers in Supercooled Liquids

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Science  21 Oct 1994:
Vol. 266, Issue 5184, pp. 425-427
DOI: 10.1126/science.266.5184.425


The low-temperature relaxation dynamics of supercooled liquids are a long-standing theoretical problem of considerable interest. The vast amount of experimental data on such liquids indicates that viscosity and diffusion in supercooled liquids are non-Arrhenius over a wide range of temperatures. The non-Arrhenius temperature dependence of the relaxation time of the slow modes in glass-forming liquids is investigated in connection with the topology of the potential energy landscape in configuration space. An analogy is made between the derived dynamical equations and Cooper's formulation of the pair equation in superconductivity.