Zero-temperature glass transition in two dimensions
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The nature of the glass transition is theoretically understood in the mean-field limit of infinite spatial dimensions, but the problem remains totally open in physical dimensions. Nontrivial finite-dimensional fluctuations are hard to control analytically, and experiments fail to provide conclusive evidence regarding the nature of the glass transition. Here, we use Monte Carlo simulations that fully bypass the glassy slowdown, and access equilibrium states in two-dimensional glass-forming liquids at low enough temperatures to directly probe the transition. We find that the liquid state terminates at a thermodynamic glass transition at zero temperature, which is associated with an entropy crisis and a diverging static correlation length.
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Professor of Chemistry
Professor Charbonneau studies soft matter. His work combines theory and simulation to understand the glass problem, protein crystallization, microphase formation, and colloidal assembly in external fields.