Network glasses are the physical prototype for many self-organized systems, ranging from proteins to computer science. Conventional theories of gases, liquids and crystals do not account for the strongly material-selective character of the glass-forming tendency, the phase diagrams of glasses or their optimizable properties. A new topological theory, only 25 years old, has succeeded where conventional theories have failed. It shows that (probably all slowly quenched) glasses, including network glasses, are the result of the combined effects of a few simple mechanisms. These glass-forming mechanisms are topological in nature and have already been identified for several important glasses, including chalcogenide alloys, silicates (window glass and computer chips) and proteins.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Condensed Matter Physics