This pedagogical and self-contained text describes the modern mean field theory of simple structural glasses. The book begins with a thorough explanation of infinite-dimensional models in statistical physics, before reviewing the key elements of the thermodynamic theory of liquids and the dynamical properties of liquids and glasses. The central feature of the mean field theory of disordered systems, the existence of a large multiplicity of metastable states, is then introduced. The replica method is then covered, before the final chapters describe important, advanced topics such as Gardner transitions, complexity, packing spheres in large dimensions, the jamming transition, and the rheology of glass. Presenting the theory in a clear and pedagogical style, this is an excellent resource for researchers and graduate students working in condensed matter physics and statistical mechanics…
A guide to the theoretical and computational toolkits for the modern study of molecular kinetics in condensed phases
Molecular Kinetics in Condensed Phases: Theory, Simulation and Analysis puts the focus on the theory, algorithms, simulations methods and analysis of molecular kinetics in condensed phases. The authors – noted experts on the topic – offer a detailed and thorough description of modern theories and simulation methods to model molecular events. They highlight the rigorous stochastic modelling of molecular processes and the use of mathematical models to reproduce experimental observations, such as rate coefficients, mean first passage times and transition path times.
The book’s exploration of simulations examines atomically detailed modelling of molecules in action and the connections of these simulations to theory and experiment. The authors also explore the applications that range from simple intuitive examples of one and two-dimensional systems to complex solvated macromolecules.
Black holes are arguably among the most mysterious objects that Einstein’s General Relativity predicts. They remain more fascinating than ever because they are often found at the core of the paradoxes between quantum mechanics and general relativity. The resolution of these paradoxes lead theoretical physicists to formulate deep conjectures about the fundamental structures of the underlying quantum theory of gravity. One of the most important of such conjectures, known as the “Weak gravity Conjecture”, was proposed in this context in 2006 by Arkani-Hamed and collaborators. The simplest version of this conjecture states that the charge-to-mass ratio of electrically charged black holes, at the end stage of their Hawking’s evaporation, must be larger than one (Q/M>1 in Planck units) in any possible instance of a universe ruled by quantum mechanics. Colloquially, the conjectures says that gravity must necessarily be the weakest long-range force.
In a recent paper, to appear on the journal Physical Review Letters (preprint avaiable at https://arxiv.org/abs/1902.03250 and published in https://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.123.251103), B. Bellazzini of the IPhT and his collaborators have finally provided a rigorous proof of this conjecture. This important result was obtained via an ingenious “gedanken experiment” where photons are scattered in an universe where one of the space dimensions has been compactified on a circle, even thought eventually the results carry over our usual 4-dimensional spacetime. Establishing quantum properties of black holes corresponds to setting solid foundation on the fundamental properties of quantum gravity. Moreover, the same "gedanken" experiment was also used in the same paper to study dark energy and other modified gravity theories of gravity that aim at explaining the acceleration of the universe.