LPTMS PhD Proposal: Amorphous materials under stress


Alberto ROSSO + 33 (0)1 69 15 31 79

Most of the materials employed in our everyday life have the amorphous structure of a collection of randomly packed particles. Their density and the strength of their interactions strongly depend on the material and are at the origin of a large spectrum of physical properties, much richer than the one of cristalline matter.
For example, under shear, gels and foams can flow as liquids, while glasses and ceramics break into solid pieces. Today we know that these behaviours are the macroscopic manifestations of genuine dynamical phase transitions anticipated by sudden reorganisations called avalanches. Avalanches are recorded at very different scales, from the micrometers of plastic readjustments to the kilometres of huge earthquakes. In analogy with what we know for equilibrium, these divergent scales indicate universality and strong fluctuations, but the dynamical transition of driven systems are much richer and mysterious due to effect of the preparation and to the temporal correlations.

In this thesis we will study the avalanche dynamics of amorphous matter using the tools developed in the context of disordered systems and the statistics of rare events. Connections with (many) body localisation physics will be explored.