- Published on 23 January 2018
Understanding the functional properties of materials is often a multi-scale problem where many factors cooperate. While for most practical purposes it is useful to idealize the materials response as a deterministic function of the externally applied perturbation, heterogeneities and fluctuations are unavoidable. This issue is particularly important in materials that have a disordered microstructure as in amorphous and glassy materials, granular matter, soft materials, but also in general for nano materials. While in macroscopic samples, noise and fluctuations are typically averaged out, when the sample size is reduced towards the nanoscale traditional methods are bound to fail. Small systems are typically associated with fluctuations that are large as compared to the mean, so that homogenization methods are ineffective. We thus need a theoretical formalism that can treat explicitly fluctuations. The physics of complex non-equilibrium disordered systems provides a possible framework to develop these ideas into concrete tools for understanding and designing the response of materials.
The EPJB topical issue on "Complex Systems Science meets Matter and Materials” will collect theoretical, experimental and computational contributions to materials science studied with the perspective of complex systems. Relevant topics include crackling noise, relaxation of glassy systems, mechanical properties of disordered systems, materials design using machine learning, rheology of soft matter (colloidal systems, fibre networks) and fluctuations in nano-materials. The unifying theme of this topical issue is the view of a material as a complex interacting system where the macroscopic response emerges from a non-trivial interaction between its microscopic or mesoscopic constituents.
Deadline for submission: 30 September 2018