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Mathematical Physics Seminar

Solidity and information

Jorge Kurchan – LPENS, École Normale Supérieure

Location:  Zoom
Date & time: Wednesday, 09 November 2022 at 10:45AM - 11:45AM

The fact that particles can assemble to make a solid, even at high temperatures, becomes more mysterious the more one thinks about it.  In order to resist stress, the number of particles whose positions are coordinated must tend to infinity, otherwise limited rearrangements would make flow possible. What about systems which, like a glass, seem amorphous? If they are to be true solids, some form of order should be there, but which? In the search of an unambiguous characterization of such hidden order, we soon realize that the problem is in fact equivalent to devising an image-compression strategy that would allow us to transmit a photo of the configuration (or rather, as I will argue, a collection of configurations) in an optimal way. A true solid is then an assembly of particles whose configuration has minimal information per particle.

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