Computer simulations in physics and how we explore the glass phase

Anton Smessaert
Event Date and Time: 
Fri, 2012-03-30 16:00 - 17:00
Hennings 304 (different room!)
Intended Audience: 


In the last three decades computer simulations have been established as a third pillar of modern physics next to theory and experiment. Today, computational approaches are used in virtually all fields, from GR to solid state physics and protein folding. In the first half of the talk, I will give an overview over the most widely used methods with a focus on Monte Carlo (MC) and molecular dynamics (MD) techniques. Both can be viewed as “virtual experiments” and a key challenge is the exploration of cooperative dynamics of many body systems. In the second half, I will highlight some of the advantages of computer simulations by discussing aspects of my research on glasses. A multitude of common materials (e.g. many plastics) exhibit glassy dynamics when sufficiently cooled, but there are only very limited theories that can describe even their most basic properties. The problem is, on the one hand, the absence of spatial long-range order, and on the other hand the non-equilibrium nature of the glass phase. However, we can explore glassy systems directly and in great detail using MD. I will demonstrate how we can (i) identify underlying cooperative processes, (ii) probe the non-equilibrium evolution, (iii) and measure correlations that might lead to a better description on the theoretical level.
Website development by Checkmark Media. Designed by Armada.

a place of mind, The University of British Columbia

Faculty of Science
Department of Physics and Astronomy
6224 Agricultural Road
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1
Tel 604.822.3853
Fax 604.822.5324

Emergency Procedures | Accessibility | Contact UBC | © Copyright The University of British Columbia