Temporal disconnectivity of the energy landscape in glassy systems

Lempesis, Nikolaos; Boulougouris, Georgios C.; Theodorou, Doros N.
March 2013
Journal of Chemical Physics;Mar2013, Vol. 138 Issue 12, p12A545
Academic Journal
An alternative graphical representation of the potential energy landscape (PEL) has been developed and applied to a binary Lennard-Jones glassy system, providing insight into the unique topology of the system's potential energy hypersurface. With the help of this representation one is able to monitor the different explored basins of the PEL, as well as how - and mainly when - subsets of basins communicate with each other via transitions in such a way that details of the prior temporal history have been erased, i.e., local equilibration between the basins in each subset has been achieved. In this way, apart from detailed information about the structure of the PEL, the system's temporal evolution on the PEL is described. In order to gather all necessary information about the identities of two or more basins that are connected with each other, we consider two different approaches. The first one is based on consideration of the time needed for two basins to mutually equilibrate their populations according to the transition rate between them, in the absence of any effect induced by the rest of the landscape. The second approach is based on an analytical solution of the master equation that explicitly takes into account the entire explored landscape. It is shown that both approaches lead to the same result concerning the topology of the PEL and dynamical evolution on it. Moreover, a 'temporal disconnectivity graph' is introduced to represent a lumped system stemming from the initial one. The lumped system is obtained via a specially designed algorithm [N. Lempesis, D. G. Tsalikis, G. C. Boulougouris, and D. N. Theodorou, J. Chem. Phys. 135, 204507 (2011)]. The temporal disconnectivity graph provides useful information about both the lumped and the initial systems, including the definition of 'metabasins' as collections of basins that communicate with each other via transitions that are fast relative to the observation time. Finally, the two examined approaches are compared to an 'on the fly' molecular dynamics-based algorithm [D. G. Tsalikis, N. Lempesis, G. C. Boulougouris, and D. N. Theodorou, J. Chem. Theory Comput. 6, 1307 (2010)].


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