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Seeking simplicity in complexity: A physicist’s view of vulcanized media

Paul M Goldbart, School of Physics, Georgia Institute of Technology
Monday, May 9, 2016 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
PAA A-102
Vulcanized media – materials that acquire their valuable and unusual properties through the random chemical linking of their molecular constituents – surround us, from the tires of our cars to the tubing of wine-making and medicine, to rubber bands, flooring and waterproof clothing. The aim of this talk is to look at vulcanized media through the lens of condensed matter physics, and to ask how their properties – most notably their universal random structure and rigidity – emerge via the collective behavior of their constituents. Along the way, we shall see that, provided some twists are added, a familiar field theory allows us to identify at least some simplicity in these archetypes of complexity.​

​Watch a video​ of the colloquium.

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