"Microscopic structural relaxation in a sheared supercooled colloidal liquid"
D Chen, D Semwogerere, J Sato, V Breedveld, & ER Weeks, Phys. Rev. E. 81, 011403 (2010).

The rheology of dense amorphous materials under large shear strain is not fully understood, partly due to the difficulty of directly viewing the microscopic details of such materials. We use a colloidal suspension to simulate amorphous materials, and study the shear-induced structural relaxation with fast confocal microscopy. We quantify the plastic rearrangements of the particles in several ways. Each of these measures of plasticity reveals spatially heterogeneous dynamics, with localized regions where many particles are strongly rearranging by these measures. We examine the shapes of these regions and find them to be essentially isotropic, with no alignment in any particular direction. Furthermore, individual particles are equally likely to move in any direction, other than the overall bias imposed by the strain.