Condensed Matter Seminar: "Novel phase transition within amorphous solids"
Glassy materials are omnipresent in everyday life from windows to plastics to piles of sand. Yet our understanding of both their (equilibrium) liquid and (out-of-equilibrium) solid phases lags far behind that of crystalline counterparts. Recent advances are rapidly changing the ways in which we understand these common-yet-physically-enigmatic materials. This talk overviews one such advance -- the discovery of the Gardner phase transition from normal to marginally-stable glasses. Our work in particular indicates that such a transition, first found in abstract infinite-dimensional models, can survive down to the three-dimensional world. This transition reinforces the overriding role of rugged free-energy landscapes that dictate physics of glassy systems, with tangible consequences on jamming, yielding, and beyond.