Jones Seminar: Live 3D Modeling with Colloids

Frans Spaepen, Franklin Professor of Applied Physics, Harvard SEAS

Friday, April 24, 2015, 3:30pm (watch live)

Spanos Auditorium, Cummings Hall

This seminar is part of the Jones Seminars on Science, Technology, and Society series.

Colloidal particles in suspension form liquid, crystalline and glassy phases similar to those formed by atoms. Since the particles are “fat” (~1µm) and “slow” (~0.1s), they can be individually tracked in space and time by confocal microscopy. Dense colloidal systems therefore serve as "analog computers" to study the dynamics of defects in crystals (vacancies, stacking faults, dislocations, grain boundaries), crystal nucleation, crystal-liquid interfaces, and the fundamental mechanisms of the deformation of glasses.

About the Speaker

Frans Spaepen is the Franklin Professor of Applied Physics in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University. He obtained his undergraduate degree in metallurgical engineering from the University of Leuven in 1971, and his Ph.D. in applied physics from Harvard in 1975, where he has remained ever since. He has been the Director of the Harvard Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (1990-1998) and of the Rowland Institute at Harvard (2002-20013). His research interests span a wide range of experimental and theoretical topics in materials science, such as amorphous metals and semiconductors (viscosity, diffusion, mechanical properties), the structure and thermodynamics of interfaces (crystal/melt, amorphous/crystalline semiconductors, grain boundaries), mechanical properties of thin films, and colloidal systems as models for the study of dynamics and defects in crystals and glasses.

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