Recent Advances on the Glass and Jamming Transitions

January 9, 2017 to January 11, 2017
Location : CECAM-HQ-EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland
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  • Patrick Charbonneau (Department of Chemistry, Duke University , USA)
  • Ludovic Berthier (Laboratoire Charles Coulomb UMR 5221 CNRS - Université de Montpellier, France)
  • Francesco Zamponi (LPT, ENS Paris, France)




This workshop considers various perspectives on the glass problem, building on recent theoretical and computational advances. It synergistically brings together leading theoretical and computational researchers as well as a few key experimentalists to discuss their latest results and lay the path for future advances. In order to enhance the workshop's impact, nearly a third of the invited speakers are promising postdoctoral researchers who are already leaving a significant footprint on the field.

Further progress on the glass problem requires a sustained, interdisciplinary effort. The workshop indeed touches upon various facets of the glass problem, including:
-Glass formation: Liquids, when rapidly cooled, solidify in an amorphous state in which the disorder is self-generated.
-Low-temperature glasses: Glasses that are further cooled display unexpected transport and thermal properties. The importance of the recently proposed Gardner transition in this regime is of particular interest.
-Jamming: Collections of frictionless soft spheres can exhibit a jamming transition—the onset of mechanical rigidity—at zero temperature as a function of packing fraction.
-Granular physics : Macroscopic collections of objects, such as rice in a silo or coal in a hopper, can jam making their dynamics and statics are similar to that of the ground states of other disordered systems.
-Colloidal glasses : Colloidal suspensions, when raised to high density, can behave as solids although their structure remains disordered.

Recent progress has revealed deep and unexpected links between these subfields. Conversations around these themes are to be facilitated by a mixture of talks, grouped by topics, and followed by extended group discussions. Each group of talks includes both theory and computation as well as experiments, when appropriate, in order to ensure that synergies between the various communities emerge from the earliest stages of the workshop. The discussion sessions are to be led by leaders in many of the above subfields, who are mandated to make efforts to include the various participants in these discussions.

A poster session held on the first day allows junior researchers to bring their own scientific contributions to the workshop. The author of two most promising posters, as determined by a panel, will be given the opportunity to present a short talk on the second day of the meeting.

Both the size and structure of the meeting aim to facilitate networking and extended scientific discussions. The joint lunches as well as the conference dinner further ensure that attendees also have the opportunity to interact in less formal settings.


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[2] A.J. Liu, S. R. Nagel “Jamming is not just cool anymore” Nature 396, 21-22 (1998); A. Widmer-Cooper, H. Perry, P. Harrowell, D.R. Reichman “Irreversible reorganization in a supercooled liquid originates from localized soft modes” Nature Phys., 4, 711 (2008); C. Brito, M. Wyart “Heterogeneous Dynamics, Marginal Stability Soft Modes in Hard Sphere Glasses” J. Stat. Mech., 08, 1742 (2007); M. L. Manning, A. J. Liu, “A random matrix definition of the boson peak.” EPL 109, 36002 (2015).
[3] A.J. Liu, S.R. Nagel, W. van Saarloos, M. Wyart “The jamming scenario” in Dynamic heterogeneities in glasses, colloids, and granular media, ed. by L. Berthier, G. Biroli, J.-P. Bouchaud, L. Cipelletti, W. van Saarloos, (Oxford Univ. Press, 2011); M. van Hecke “Jamming of soft particles: geometry, mechanics, scaling and isostaticity” J. Phys:Cond. Mat 22, 033101 (2010).
[4] G. Parisi, F. Zamponi “Mean-field theory of hard sphere glasses and jamming” Rev. Mod. Phys. 82, 789 (2010).
[5] P. Charbonneau, J. Kurchan, G. Parisi, P. Urbani, F. Zamponi “Fractal free energy landscapes in structural glasses,” Nature Commun. 5, 3725 (2014).
[6] S. Franz, H. Jacquin, G. Parisi, P. Urbani, F. Zamponi, “Quantitative field theory of the glass transition.” Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA 109, 18725-18730 (2012).
[7] M. Wyart, “Marginal Stability Constrains Force and Pair Distributions at Random Close Packing.” Phys. Rev. Lett. 109, 125502 (2012); E. DeGiuli, E. Lerner, C. Brito, M. Wyart, “Force distribution affects vibrational properties in hard-sphere glasses.” Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci., USA 111, 17054 (2014); E. DeGiuli, E. Lerner, M. Wyart, “Theory of the jamming transition at finite temperature.” J. Chem. Phys. 142, 164503 (2015).
[8] B. Charbonneau, P. Charbonneau, G. Tarjus, “Geometrical Frustration and Static Correlations in a Simple Glass Former”. Phys. Rev. Lett. 108, 035701 (2012); P. Charbonneau, E. I. Corwin, G. Parisi, F. Zamponi, “Universal Microstructure and Mechanical Stability of Jammed Packings.” Phys. Rev. Lett. 109, 205501 (2012);. P. Charbonneau, E.I. Corwin, G. Parisi, F. Zamponi “Universal Microstructure and Mechanical Stability of Jammed Packings” Phys. Rev. Lett. 109, 205501 (2012); P. Charbonneau, E. I. Corwin, G. Parisi, F. Zamponi “Jamming Criticality Revealed by Removing Localized Buckling Excitations,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 91, 032302 (2015).
[9] G. M. Hocky, T. E. Markland, D. R. Reichman, “Growing Point-to-Set Length Scale Correlates with Growing Relaxation Times in Model Supercooled Liquids.” Phys. Rev. Lett. 108, 225506 (2012); L. Berthier, D. Coslovich, “Novel approach to numerical measurements of the configurational entropy in supercooled liquids.” Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA 111, 11668-11672 (2014); M. Ozawa, W. Kob, A. Ikeda, K. Miyazaki, Equilibrium phase diagram of a randomly pinned glass-former. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA 112, 6914-6919 (2015).