Crystals are regular and can be largely understood with regular mathematics. Glasses on the other hand are disordered and rarely succumb to conventional analysis. Now, Duke University postdoctoral fellow Sho Yaida and his advisor Patrick Charbonneau have built on thirty years of phase transition science to see through the equations and lay to rest a mystery about glass that has vexed scientists for years. Yaida has found evidence of a phase transition that only existed theoretically until now. The insight opens up the possibility that some types of glassy materials may exist in a new state of matter at low temperatures, which affects how they respond to heat, sound and stress, and how and when they break. The transition is known as the “Gardner transition” and is named for pioneering physicist Elizabeth Gardner.
I love the sound of breaking glass