Corwin Group Research Featured in Around-the-O
UO researchers have discovered that molecules in glass materials behave just like particles in sand and rocks as they jam together, a mechanism that could boost explorations of condensed matter and complex systems.
The work shows that glassy materials change their organizational structure to behave like sand when they are ‘jammed,’ or compressed to the point of changing from liquid to rigid. The discovery expands the understanding of thermal motion and vibrational states that occur as materials reach jamming.
The discovery was detailed in a study published in the journal Physical Review Letters that examines what happens when glass materials are rapidly compressed or cooled. In the macro world, that kind of jamming is seen in the way grain moves through a hopper or sand in an hourglass.
The newly found similarity is important for researchers in the fields of condensed matter and complex systems, and opens up new ways to explore glassy materials through computational physics, said Francesco Arceri, the study’s lead author and a doctoral candidate in co-author Eric Corwin’s Department of Physics lab.
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