Anisotropic structural predictor in glassy materials

Zohar Schwartzman-Nowik, Edan Lerner, Eran Bouchbinder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There is growing evidence that relaxation in glassy materials, both spontaneous and externally driven, is mediated by localized soft spots. Recent progress made it possible to identify the soft spots inside glassy structures and to quantify their degree of softness. These softness measures, however, are typically scalars, not taking into account the tensorial, anisotropic nature of soft spots, which implies orientation-dependent coupling to external deformation. Here, we derive from first principles the linear response coupling between the local heat capacity of glasses, previously shown to provide a measure of glassy softness, and external deformation in different directions. We first show that this linear response quantity follows an anomalous, fat-tailed distribution related to the universal ω4 density of states of quasilocalized, nonphononic excitations in glasses. We then construct a structural predictor as the product of the local heat capacity and its linear response to external deformation, and show that it offers an enhanced predictability of plastic rearrangements under deformation in different directions, compared to the purely scalar predictor.

Original languageEnglish
Article number060601(R)
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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