Eighty years of random networks

A. C. Wright, Michael Thorpe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


The 80 years since Zachariasen's famous paper, 20 years before Stephen Elliott was born, on the random network theory of glass structure have seen remarkable progress in our understanding of the structure of glassy materials through the construction of models and comparison with experiment. In the early days, models were hand-built with plastic units and had free boundary conditions. Today, very much larger computer models have periodic boundary conditions. We recount the progress that has been made in the last 80 years, and discuss the current agreement between models and experiments that remains imperfect. Stephen Elliott's work on medium range order forms an important part of the history of this subject.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)931-936
Number of pages6
JournalPhysica Status Solidi (B) Basic Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2013


  • Computer models
  • Diffraction
  • Random network
  • Vitreous silica

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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