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Exploiting Disorder for Global and Local Response

Event Details

Event Dates: 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016 - 4:00pm

Seminar Location: 

  • Duane Physics Room G1B20

Speaker Name(s): 

Sidney Nagel

Speaker Affiliation(s): 

University of Chicago
Seminar Type/Subject

Scientific Seminar Type: 

  • Physics Department Colloquium

Event Details & Abstract: 

We are customarily taught to understand ordinary solids by considering perturbations about a periodic structure.  This approach becomes increasingly untenable as the amount of disorder in the solid increases.  In a crystal with only one atom per unit cell, all atoms play the same role in producing the solid's global response to external perturbations. Disordered materials are not similarly constrained and a new principle emerges: independence of bond-level response. This allows one to drive the system to different regimes of behavior by successively removing individual bonds. We can thus exploit disorder to achieve unique, varied, textured and tunable global response. We can use similar pruning techniques to achieve long-range interactions inspired by allosteric behavior in proteins. This allows a local input strain to control the local strain at a distant site in the network.