Tuning the fragility of a glass-forming liquid by curving space

Phys Rev Lett. 2008 Oct 10;101(15):155701. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.101.155701. Epub 2008 Oct 7.


We investigate the influence of space curvature, and of the associated frustration, on the dynamics of a model glass former: a monatomic liquid on the hyperbolic plane. We find that the system's fragility, i.e., the sensitivity of the relaxation time to temperature changes, increases as one decreases the frustration. As a result, curving space provides a way to tune fragility and make it as large as wanted. We also show that the nature of the emerging "dynamic heterogeneities", another distinctive feature of slowly relaxing systems, is directly connected to the presence of frustration-induced topological defects.