Multiple Glassy States in a Simple Model System
Experiments, theory, and simulation were used to study glass formation in a simple model system composed of hard spheres with short-range attraction (“sticky hard spheres”). The experiments, using well-characterized colloids, revealed a reentrant glass transition line. Mode-coupling theory calculations and molecular dynamics simulations suggest that the reentrance is due to the existence of two qualitatively different glassy states: one dominated by repulsion (with structural arrest due to caging) and the other by attraction (with structural arrest due to bonding). This picture is consistent with a study of the particle dynamics in the colloid using dynamic light scattering.