Two-Gaussian excitations model for the glass transition

Dmitry Matyushov, Charles Angell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


We develop a modified "two-state" model with Gaussian widths for the site energies of both ground and excited states, consistent with expectations for a disordered system. The thermodynamic properties of the system are analyzed in configuration space and found to bridge the gap between simple two-state models ("logarithmic" model in configuration space) and the random energy model ("Gaussian" model in configuration space). The Kauzmann singularity given by the random energy model remains for very fragile liquids but is suppressed or eliminated for stronger liquids. The sharp form of constant-volume heat capacity found by recent simulations for binary mixed Lennard-Jones and soft-sphere systems is reproduced by the model, as is the excess entropy and heat capacity of a variety of laboratory systems, strong and fragile. The ideal glass in all cases has a narrow Gaussian, almost invariant among molecular and atomic glassformers, while the excited-state Gaussian depends on the system and its width plays a role in the thermodynamic fragility. The model predicts the possibility of first-order phase transitions for fragile liquids. The analysis of laboratory data for toluene and o -terphenyl indicates that fragile liquids resolve the Kauzmann paradox by a first-order transition from supercooled liquid to ideal-glass state at a temperature between Tg and Kauzmann temperature extrapolated from experimental data. We stress the importance of the temperature dependence of the energy landscape, predicted by the fluctuation-dissipation theorem, in analyzing the liquid thermodynamics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number034506
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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