Structure of solids and liquids

Structure of solids and liquids is the study of the physical properties of matter in which there is a non-negligible interaction between the constituent atoms or molecules. While the atoms or molecules in a liquid are free to move around, those in solids are limited to vibrating about a fixed point.

Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • News & Views |

    When crystal defects are present in an ensemble of spinning colloids that induce transverse forces on each other, the defects assemble into grain boundaries that can break the system apart into a set of crystal whorls.

    • Cynthia J. O. Reichhardt
    •  & Charles Reichhardt
  • News & Views |

    Finding a parameter that can accurately identify the order–disorder phase transition, especially for complex physical systems with high-dimensional configurational space, is a challenging task. Recent work proposes a machine learning approach to effectively tackle this challenge.

    • Evert van Nieuwenburg
  • News & Views |

    At high pressure and temperature, water forms two crystalline phases, known as hot ‘black’ ices due to their partial opaqueness. A detailed characterization of these phases may explain magnetic field formation in giant icy planets like Neptune.

    • Simone Anzellini
    Nature Physics 17, 1195-1196
  • Comments & Opinion
    | Open Access

    Water ice exists in hugely different environments, artificially or naturally occurring ones across the universe. The phase diagram of crystalline phases of ice is still under construction: a high-pressure phase, ice XIX, has just been reported but its structure remains ambiguous.

    • Thomas C. Hansen
  • News & Views |

    Mapping X-ray diffraction patterns to crystal structures is a comprehensive and time-consuming task for chemists and materials scientists. In a recent work, researchers developed a machine-learning tool to make this job more ‘self-driving’.

    • Wenhao Sun
    •  & Michael F. Toney