Through a glass, less darkly

By Robert Frederick, 13:18 PM January 10, 2013

After finishing his Ph.D. on glass formation, chemical physicist Patrick Charbonneau thought he’d never study the material again. But something kept nagging him: In some experiments, materials would unexpectedly morph into glass, solid as a rock but molecularly disordered like a liquid. The results didn’t match with glass-formation theory, but they were easy to dismiss as a fluke. “If I want to have a career,” Charbonneau remembers thinking, “there’s no way I should work on this problem. It’...

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