READING #4 - Jamming and Disordered Materials

Piotr Habdas and Eric R. Weeks, Physics Department, Emory University, Atlanta, GA

In our lab, we use various microscopy techniques to look at small colloidal particles (few thousands of a millimeter in diameter) suspended in a liquid (just like Robert Brown almost 200 years ago). We study how their motion changes when the particle concentration is increased. Why is this important and cool? Well, below there is a copy of an article which deals with jamming on various scales - from traffic jams to molecules jamming in a glass-forming liquid. Our colloidal suspensions are a good system that exhibits such jamming behavior and they have a big advantage over regular glasses. We can see individual particles whereas in a regular glass the molecules are just too small. Therefore, we hope that our research here helps in some little way to understand the mechanisms which are responsible for the formation of a glass. To learn more click here to visit our web site.

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