Minimalist landscape model of glass relaxation

John C. Mauro, Morten M. Smedskjaer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The relaxation behavior of glass is of great scientific and technological importance. However, prediction of glass relaxation behavior using direct first principles techniques is currently infeasible for realistic laboratory time scales. The enthalpy landscape approach has proven to be successful in overcoming this time scale constraint and providing insights into the fundamental physics governing glass transition and relaxation behavior. However, it is still too computationally intensive to calculate representative enthalpy landscapes for multicomponent glasses of industrial interest. It is thus interesting to consider a simplified enthalpy landscape that captures the essential features of glass relaxation and can be solved analytically. Here, we present the analytical solution for such a "minimalist landscape" model that is complicated enough to capture both primary (α) and secondary (β) relaxation processes, yet simple enough to offer a closed-form solution. Using this minimalist landscape, we perform model calculations to illustrate the relative impact of activation barriers and entropy on glass relaxation behavior. The results of our model show that α and β relaxation processes are largely decoupled, in agreement with recently published experimental results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3446-3459
Number of pages14
JournalPhysica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 15 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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