Experimental Evidence of the Gardner Phase in a Granular Glass

A. Seguin1,2 and O. Dauchot3
1Laboratoire FAST, Université Paris-Sud, CNRS, Université Paris-Saclay, F-91405, Orsay, France
2SPEC, CEA, CNRS, Université Paris-Saclay, F-91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, France
3EC2M, UMR Gulliver 7083 CNRS, ESPCI ParisTech, PSL Research University, 10 rue Vauquelin, 75005 Paris, France

Analyzing the dynamics of a vibrated bidimensional packing of bidisperse granular disks below jamming, we provide evidence of a Gardner phase deep into the glass phase. To do so, we perform several compression cycles within a given realization of the same glass and show that the particles select different average vibrational positions at each cycle, while the neighborhood structure remains unchanged. The separation between the cages obtained for different compression cycles plateaus with an increasing packing fraction, while the mean square displacement steadily decreases. This phenomenology is strikingly similar to that reported in recent numerical observations when entering the Gardner phase, for a mean-field model of glass as well as for hard spheres in finite dimension. We also characterize the distribution of the cage order parameters. Here we note several differences from the numerical results, which could be attributed to activated processes and cage heterogeneities.


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