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Temperature-Like Variables in Granular Materials

Date: Thursday, May 26th, 2016

Speaker:  Karen Daniels, North Carolina State University


Statistical mechanics has provided a powerful tool for understanding the thermodynamics of materials. Because granular materials exhibit reproducible statistical distributions which depend in simple ways on macroscopic parameters such as volume and pressure, it is tempting to create a statistical mechanics of athermal materials. I will describe a suite of experiments on two-dimensional granular materials which investigate to what extent these ideas are meaningful. For example, under agitated


Workshop on Emerging New Physics at the LHC, to be held May 18-20 at the UO

The world’s most powerful particle accelerator, located in Europe and where the UO has a strong presence, will operate in its second run with more energy than ever with a promise of finding new fundamental particles. The first run delivered the long-elusive Higgs boson.

Just what may be the next discovery? That’s the focus of a three-day conference, Emerging New Physics at the LHC, to be held May 18-20 at the UO. Participants will represent 12 institutions, including 17 UO physicists, four from the University of Washington and 11 other scientists.

The workshop, says co-organizer


Eric Corwin’s research on ‘Cracking the Glass Problem’ is featured in a recent ‘Around the O’ article.

Under a new initiative — “Cracking the Glass Problem” — announced by the New York City-based Simons Foundation, Professor of Physics, Eric Corwin will study the material properties of jamming, a process that is directly applicable to what happens to glass.

Corwin uses supercomputing and mathematical models to capture insights about what happens when objects moving freely jam to a standstill. He focuses on their geometric structures as materials transition in and out of a jammed state.

You can read the full article here: