Ideal glass transitions by random pinning
We study the effect of freezing the positions of a fraction c of particles from an equilibrium configuration of a supercooled liquid at a temperature T. We show that within the random first-order transition theory pinning particles leads to an ideal glass transition for a critical fraction c = cK(T) even for moderate supercooling; e.g., close to the Mode-Coupling transition temperature. First we derive the phase diagram in the T - c plane by mean field approximations. Then, by applying a real-space renormalization group method, we obtain the critical properties for |c - cK(T)| → 0, in particular the divergence of length and time scales, which are dominated by two zero-temperature fixed points. We also show that for c = cK(T) the typical distance between frozen particles is related to the static point-to-set length scale of the unconstrained liquid. We discuss what are the main differences when particles are frozen in other geometries and not from an equilibrium configuration. Finally, we explain why the glass transition induced by freezing particles provides a new and very promising avenue of research to probe the glassy state and ascertain, or disprove, the validity of the theories of the glass transition.