The Power of Analogy in Physics: From Faraday Waves to Quasicrystals

Professor Ron Lifshitz, Tel Aviv University

Quasicrystals have been observed recently in soft condensed mater, providing new insight into the ongoing quest to understand their formation and thermodynamic stability. I shall explain the stability of certain soft-matter quasicrystals, using surprisingly simple classical field theories, by making an analogy to Faraday waves. This will provide a recipe for designing pair potentials that yield crystals with (almost) any given symmetry.