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Phase diagram of a hard-sphere system in a quenched random potential: A numerical study



Phase diagram of a hard-sphere system in a quenched random potential: A numerical study



Physical Review. E, Statistical Physics, Plasmas, Fluids, and Related Interdisciplinary Topics 62(3 Pt A): 3648-3658



We report numerical results for the phase diagram in the density-disorder plane of a hard-sphere system in the presence of quenched, random, pinning disorder. Local minima of a discretized version of the Ramakrishnan-Yussouff free energy functional are located numerically and their relative stability is studied as a function of the density and the strength of disorder. Regions in the phase diagram corresponding to liquid, glassy, and nearly crystalline states are mapped out, and the nature of the transitions is determined. The liquid to glass transition changes from first to second order as the strength of the disorder is increased. For weak disorder, the system undergoes a first-order crystallization transition as the density is increased. Beyond a critical value of the disorder strength, this transition is replaced by a continuous glass transition. Our numerical results are compared with those of analytical work on the same system. Implications of our results for the field-temperature phase diagram of type-II superconductors are discussed.

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Accession: 046971781

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PMID: 11088865


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