Presentation slides are now online within the schedule
Glassy or amorphous structures are found in a surprisingly broad range
of solids, from structural materials like polymer, dipolar, and
metallic glasses to "soft" colloidal glasses, biomolecular networks
and granular media as well as magnetic materials (spin glasses). The
mechanical behaviour of such materials is a fundamental challenge to
statistical and condensed matter physics, and of great practical
importance in engineering applications. This workshop is part of the
PITP collaborative research network on "Complex Systems", bringing
together experimentalists and theorists trying to elucidate the
non-equilibrium behaviour of such disordered materials.
- New ideas for understanding the glass transition. Quantum glasses vs
- Formation and importance of dynamical heterogeneities
- Extensions of equilibrium stat. mech concepts to glassy dynamics:
effective temperatures and related concepts
- Mechanical behaviour of amorphous solids:
Hysteresis, Aging, Shear localization. The low-T limiting behaviour
- Structural glasses vs spin glasses
- Glassy physics in biological systems (single molecule, networks)
The nonequilibrium dynamics of disordered systems presents a fundamental
challenge to physics. Frustration, be it self-generated as in structural
glasses, or quenched as in spin-glasses, gives rise to slow dynamics,
aging, spatial heterogeneity, etc, requiring extensions of equilibrium
statistical mechanical concepts to far from equilibrium situations.
Glassy behavior is found in a wide range of condensed matter systems
including polymers, metallic alloys, magnetic spin glasses, disordered
insulators, and many soft materials such as colloids, foams, emulsions or
other complex fluids. Many biological systems, most importantly protein,
also exhibit glassy phenomena. The nature of the glass transition
itself (as a thermodynamic or kinetic phenomenon) is still unresolved.
Unlike crystalline systems, the mechanical properties of structural
glasses are not dominated by topological defects such as dislocations.
The microscopic mechanism of deformation in such amorphous solids is
still unknown. Possible mathematical approaches include (free) energy
landscape pictures, mean field rate equations, and computer modeling
and simulations of atomistic and coarse-grained models. Fruitful
parallels can be drawn between structural glasses and spin glasses.
Through work on simplified models, the notion of temperature has been
extended to systems with nonstationary dynamics.
At low temperatures quantum effects take over - remarkably, glasses show
universal properties at low T and their dynamics continues to change
even down to 1 mK. A broad range of speakers will therefore contrast our
understanding of the behavior of disordered solids and other complex
materials at high T to quantum glasses at low T. The speakers will
provide theoretical, experimental and computational perspectives,
providing a unique opportunity to identify common threads and differences
and stimulate fruitful discussions and collaborations.