Soft Matter Physics research seminar: Statistical mechanics of slow dynamics - glasses and beyond

Professor Juan P Garrahan (University of Nottingham) will be presenting a seminar on his research in soft matter physics.

Systems which relax slowly and eventually fall out of equilibrium are widespread in classical (soft) condensed-matter. The paradigmatic example is represented by liquids which when supercooled end up forming glasses.

Professor Juan P Garrahan (University of Nottingham) will review the phenomenology of the glass transition, as the template for dynamical arrest in classical many-body systems more broadly. He will then address the question of how to describe these physics theoretically. He will focus on a perspective whereby complex slow relaxation is a consequence of (emergent) constrained dynamics. A key insight is that the interesting structure is not encountered in static configurations but in trajectories of the dynamics, which requires the use a ``statistical mechanics of trajectories'' based on the mathematics of large deviations. Slow dynamics is then seen as a consequence of phase transitions occurring in space-time (rather than in space as in the standard equilibrium case). He will also discuss the wider application of these concepts to other non-equilibrium systems.

The event will be hosted by Dr Johan Mattsson.

All are welcome to attend.