Mosaic Multistate Scenario Versus One-State Description of Supercooled Liquids
According to the mosaic scenario, relaxation in supercooled liquids is ruled by two competing mechanisms: surface tension, opposing the creation of local excitations, and entropy, providing the drive to the configurational rearrangement of a given region. We test this scenario through numerical simulations well below the Mode Coupling temperature. For an equilibrated configuration, we freeze all the particles outside a sphere and study the thermodynamics of this sphere. The frozen environment acts as a pinning field. Measuring the overlap between the unpinned and pinned equilibrium configurations of the sphere, we can see whether it has switched to a different state. We do not find any clear evidence of the mosaic scenario. Rather, our results seem compatible with the existence of a single (liquid) state. However, we find evidence of a growing static correlation length, apparently unrelated to the mosaic one.