Disordered Systems and Glasses: Selected Projects
Most liquids (including water) can be supercooled below their melting temperature and stay in the liquid state. The reason is the presence of a free energy barrier that the system has to overcome in order to crystallize. But some liquids never crystallize and at some temperature fall out of equilibrium. They form what we call a glass, a substance that macroscopically appears as a rigid solid but which microscopically is still disordered like the liquid. A comprehensive theory describing this state of matter is still missing and is one of the major challenges in condensed matter science.
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