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Chemistry Weekly Seminar- Dr. Richard Bowles

Posted on 2018-12-17 in Events
Jan 11, 2019


Should I stay or should I go? A Question for metastable liquids.


When a liquid is supercooled below its equilibrium freezing temperature, it is forced to answer the age-old question: “Should I stay or should I go?” If it chooses to stay, it may be there 'til the end of time, trapped as an amorphous, glassy solid. But if it goes, there will be trouble. The liquid would certainly prefer to form the most stable crystal for the given thermodynamic conditions but nucleation is plagued by indecision. Local structural fluctuations must grow and overcome a free energy barrier, like it's always tease, tease, tease, often not knowing exactly who they are supposed to be, and undergoing phase transformations of their own before they finally form the right crystal. This talk will examine how the type of fluctuations available to the metastable liquid, and the competition between them, can have dramatic effects both on the nucleation and the glass forming ability of a system, with the long-term goal of developing a more unified framework for understanding both phenomena, ultimately determining “Should I cool it or should I blow? Should I stay or should I go?”

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