Three-particle correlations in simple liquids.

Research paper by K K Zahn, G G Maret, C C Russ, H H HH von Grünberg

Indexed on: 04 Oct '03Published on: 04 Oct '03Published in: Physical review letters


We use videomicroscopy to follow the phase-space trajectory of a two-dimensional colloidal model liquid and calculate three-point correlation functions from the measured particle configurations. Approaching the fluid-solid transition by increasing the strength of the pair-interaction potential, one observes the gradual formation of a crystal-like local order due to triplet correlations, while being still deep inside the fluid phase. Furthermore, we show that in a strongly interacting system the Born-Green equation can be satisfied only with the full triplet correlation function but not with three-body distribution functions obtained from superposing pair correlations (Kirkwood superposition approximation).