When a colloidal suspension is rapidly compressed, it can enter a glassy state where the dynamics is characterized by rare intermittent quakes involving rapid reorganization of many particles, while particles spend most of their time fluctuating within the cage defined by their neighbors. Such systems can be realized experimentally and studied with confocal microscopy since the colloidal particles are micron sized.[see e.g. ER Weeks, ACS Macro Lett. 6, 27-34 (2017)] These systems are interesting since they allow glassy non-equilibrium states of matter to be studied experimentally, which is more challenging for glasses where the fundamental constituents are atoms or small molecules. They also have interesting analogies to spin-glasses.[see e.g. SF Edwards and PW Anderson, J. Phys. F./ 5, 965–974 (1975)]
Here we are interested in modeling and simulating such colloidal suspensions with the goal of understanding and characterizing the resulting non-equilibrium aging dynamics. We model the colloidal particles by hard spherical particles, that are rapidly compressed into the glassy state. The goal of the bachelor project is to perform extensive Molecular Dynamics simulations of model colloidal systems, sample the dynamics over long periods of time, and analyze the simulation trajectories to identify the quake events, and how study their properties depend on the aging time of the system.