Colloquium: Understanding and controlling materials’ properties : Why time is of the essence

Date: March 10, 2017
Time: 3:00 pm – 4:15 pm

Location: Exploratory Hall L003 (Google map)

Featured Speaker:
Normand Mousseau
Départment de physique, Université de Montréal

In physics, we tend to approach materials from a very static point of view, focusing on fully organised, crystalline materials or, at least, on thermodynamically stable phases. Yet, most materials around us, including those found in high tech devices, present a complex and often inhomogeneous structure that is very far from equilibrium. Controlling their production, but also how they will be perform in time requires therefore to undestand their evolution. In was long sufficient to rely on trial and error and intuition to achieve the desired product. However, as we sought ever more efficient materials — lighter, stronger and even smart, this approach is not longer sufficient and we must understand what drives their kinetics at the most fondamental level. Using various examples, I will show how expanded computing powers and new approaches, including some developed in my group, are now transforming how we characterize the potential energy landscape and kinetic properties of materials. Challenges remain, for sure, but it is now possible to beyond a static view of materials and what is we find then is, most often than not, very enlightening.

Refreshments will be served.