Phase transitions are fascinating phenomena at the heart of condensed matter physics. They are induced by a small variation of an external parameter such as the pressure, temperature or magnetic field and produce drastic changes in the materials physical properties. Phase transitions concerns a large variety of systems, type of interactions, thermodynamic parameters that are affected, and orders of magnitude. For instance, by slightly increasing the temperature ice become water which, by further increasing the temperature, transforms to vapor. By reducing the temperature, metals become superconductors and helium convert to a superfluid state. By subjecting it to high pressure and temperature conditions, soft opaque carbon graphite transforms to superhard crystalline diamond. Despite this diversity, it is quite remarkable that this field of research presents a great unity; unity of concepts and universality of a large number of properties. However, “phase transitions” is an archetypal N body problem (large number of interacting particles) and remain a very complex field of research with important open questions. For instance, the underlying microscopic mechanisms that induce melting and the glass transition are still far from being fully understood. Also, the driving forces behind the emergence of complexity are still elusive. This concerns, for instance, the transformation of simple molecular systems into large polymeric chains. In this presentation, we will provide examples where the outstanding properties of the ESRF Extremely Brilliant Source could play a key role.

Available on our YouTube channel, click on ONLINE SEMINAR, then choose “Phase transitions and Emergence of structural complexity”

For further information, please visit: