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“Perfect Glass”

Princeton University researchers have developed a computational model for creating a "perfect glass" that never crystallizes — even at absolute zero. The molecular structure of a glass suggests it should have liquid properties, yet it behaves with the rigidity of a solid. The researchers expanded beyond the typical 2-body interactions — which refer to the interaction between molecules — to consider 2-, 3- and 4-body interactions. The simulation above depicts a collection of particles (red) being cooled rapidly to 0 degrees Kelvin (absolute zero). The researchers were able to suppress crystallization at absolute zero so that the final state shown is a perfect glass. (Video by Ge Zhang, Department of Chemistry)

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