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DEPARTMENT COLLOQUIUM | Glassy Dynamics and Unusual Thermodynamics on Curved Surfaces

Wednesday, January 12, 2011
5:00 AM
340 West Hall

Speaker: Zohar Nussinov (Washington University, St. Louis )

We will discuss approaches towards studying complex physical systems, such as supercooled liquids, which have no simple starting point for their analysis. When supercooled, various liquids do not have enough time to "compute" their true global minima and may veer towards locally preferred structures that, due to geometrical constraints, cannot tile (flat) space. We will show how this may lead to glassy dynamics and very unusual thermodynamics. We will also discuss the inverted problem and illustrate how, by removing constraints, we may better address computationally hard NP-complete problems.