Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The critical point in breaking the glass problem

15.08.2017

Famously described as 'the deepest problem in solid state physics' by Nobel Laureate, Philip Andersen, the glass transition, by which a liquid transforms into a solid without freezing, is shedding its mystique.

Until now, researchers' understanding has been splintered at best, with mutually incompatible interpretations of the physical processes underlying the emergence of amorphous solids (glasses).


This image shows an impression of the 'ideal glass'.

Credit: University of Bristol

Now a team of scientists from the University of Bristol and Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz in Germany may have found the missing fragment, enabling the reconciliation of differing interpretations.

Dr Paddy Royall from the University of Bristol's School of Physics, explained: "The challenge boils down to whether glass is a true solid in its own right - the so-called thermodynamic interpretation - or whether in essence glass is 'just' a very viscous liquid, albeit with a viscosity so large that pouring a 'glass' of glass would take around a million times the age of the universe - the so-called dynamic interpretation."

In the thermodynamic interpretation, upon sufficient cooling, a very unusual material known as an 'ideal glass' would form.

Such an ideal glass, like a crystal, has only one way of organizing the constituent atoms - yet mysteriously, is amorphous and disordered.

The paradox of how there can be only one way of arranging the atoms in a disordered material remains, but measurements made by the Anglo-German collaboration indicate that their samples are very close to the ideal glass.

The Bristol team, led by Dr Royall and Dr Francesco Turci, worked with Professor Thomas Speck in Mainz to produce novel methods to produce samples exceptionally close to ideal glasses.

Dr Royall said: "In doing so, they found that the dynamical interpretation of the glass transition seems to end at a 'critical point', which is close to, or even coincides with, the temperature at which the ideal glass is formed.

"In other words, the dynamical and thermodynamic interpretations of the glass transition are different reflections of the same underlying phenomenon."

###

Paper:

'Nonequilibrium Phase Transition in an Atomistic Glassformer: The Connection to Thermodynamics' by Francesco Turci, C. Patrick Royall, and Thomas Speck in Physical Review X.

Media Contact

Shona East
shona.east@bristol.ac.uk
44-117-928-8086

 @BristolUni

http://www.bristol.ac.uk 

Shona East | EurekAlert!

Further reports about: amorphous amorphous solids glass thermodynamic viscosity

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth
17.11.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht Pluto's hydrocarbon haze keeps dwarf planet colder than expected
16.11.2017 | University of California - Santa Cruz

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>