Explaining the mysterious dynamics of glassy materials
Colorful church windows, beads on a necklace and many of our favorite plastics share something in common -- they all belong to a state of matter known as glasses. School children learn the difference between liquids and gases, but centuries of scholarship have failed to produce consensus about how to categorize glass.
Now, combining theory and numerical simulations, researchers have resolved an enduring question in the theory of glasses by showing that their energy landscapes are far rougher than previously believed. The findings appear April 24 in the journal Nature Communications.