Thu, Jan. 8, 2015, 3:15pm - 5:30pm
Frick Chemistry Laboratory, Taylor Auditorium
Host: Garnet Chan
3:15 p.m. – Public research seminar, Taylor Auditorium
4:30 p.m. – Research proposal, A81
Cracking the glass transition
The liquid-to-glass transition remains one of the deepest unsolved problems in condensed matter science. Although a wide diversity of theoretical views has been developed to describe this phenomenon, there is still no general consensus on the physical mechanisms underlying the transition. In this talk, I will present a novel theory of glass formation, referred to as generalized mode-coupling theory (GMCT), which can predict the microscopic dynamics of glass-forming systems with near-quantitative accuracy over an unprecedentedly large time and density domain. The theory is based entirely on first principles and requires only simple static information as input. I will also demonstrate that GMCT holds the potential to account for different fragilities in glass-forming materials. These results support the view that activated behavior in the glassy regime is inherently dynamic, rather than structural, in origin. Ultimately, this work may help pave the way toward a rigorous, microscopic understanding of the nature of the glass transition.