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Soft Matter and Biological Physics
Eur. Phys. J. E 9, 271-275 (2002)
DOI: 10.1140/epje/i2002-10074-4

On the slow dynamics of density fluctuations near the colloidal glass transition

M. Tokuyama1, Y. Terada1 and I. Oppenheim2

1  Institute of Fluid Science, Tohoku University, Sendai 980-8577, Japan
2  Department of Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA


(Received 9 March 2002 and Received in final form 19 September 2002 / Published online: 23 December 2002)

Slow dynamics of density fluctuations near the colloidal glass transition is discussed from a new viewpoint by numerically solving a nonlinear stochastic diffusion equation for the density fluctuations recently proposed by one of the present authors (MT). The effects of spatial heterogeneities on the dynamics of density fluctuations are then investigated in an equilibrium system. The spatial heterogeneities are generated by the nonlinear density fluctuations, while in a nonequilibrium system they are described by a nonlinear deterministic equation for the average number density. The dynamics of equilibrium density fluctuations is thus shown to be quite different from that of nonequilibrium ones, leading to a logarithmic decay followed by less distinct $\alpha$- and $\beta$-relaxation processes.

82.70.Dd - Colloids.
05.40.-a - Fluctuation phenomena, random processes, noise, and Brownian motion.
64.70.Pf - Glass transitions.

© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, Springer-Verlag 2002