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An Isaac Newton Institute Programme

Principles of the Dynamics of Non-Equilibrium Systems

Shear-thickening and the glass transition

16th May 2006

Author: Jorge Kurchan (ESPCI Paris)


Some liquids become more viscous when sheared, even to the point of jamming completely. In some cases, this phenomenon can be interpreted as a shear-induced glass transition. A theory that explains shear-thickening in these systems must simultaneously provide an explanation for their glass transition, and, conversely, a theory of the glass transition must naturally incorporate shear-thickening in order to be credible. I will describe a schematic model that reproduces qualitatively the observations, and makes several predictions, some of which have been already tested.