Georgios Tsekenis1 Patrick Charbonneau2 Eric Corwin1 Lin Fu2 Michael van der Naald1


1, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon, United States
2, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, United States

The physics of random amorphous solids has proven more formidable to unravel and richer in content as compared to crystals. The distinct differences stem from the marginal stability of glassy and jammed systems and reveal themselves in structural aging, the density of vibrational states, the force and gap distributions, yielding response etc. Recent advances in theory show that jamming and glassiness relate through the Gardner transition into a marginally stable glassy phase.

We study infinitesimally polydisperse crystalline packings of hard spheres with the intend to understand how amorphous physics connects with crystalline physics in the high-pressure, low-temperature Gardner phase of marginal glassy stability. Our near-crystalline configurations mostly maintain the translational and bond-orientational symmetries of the crystal yet also exhibit structural and dynamical features characteristic of jammed and marginal glass systems. Our findings suggest that experimental particulate systems that are commercially available can form structures that may appear crystalline but behave as amorphous systems. Our results indicate that a Gardner phase exists for disordered crystals expanding the range of validity of disordered physics continuously up to the vicinity of the perfect crystal.