Adventures in the Theory of Glassy Materials

TYPEDistinguished Lecture Series
Speaker:James Langer
Affiliation:University of California at Santa Barbara
Organizer:Yariv Kafri
Dates:01.11 - 05.11.2007
Glassy materials, and noncrystalline materials in general, make up a very large part of our world, yet we have no deep fundamental understanding of them. We do not know whether the transition between a liquid and a glass is a true thermodynamic phase transition; and, despite the fact that glasses look microscopically very much like fluids, we have no fluidlike equations of motion with which to predict how they will perform in practical applications. The opening colloquium will be devoted to the mysteries of the glass transition. This is a beautiful scientific topic and basic principles remain to be discovered here. Then, the following seminars, will be about the shear-transformation-zone theory of glassy rheology, and the emerging concept of an effective temperature as a useful way to describe the state of internal disorder in noncrystalline materials. Professor Langer was awarded the Buckley Prize and was the Director of the Institute for Theoretical Physics in Santa-Barbara.