Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.


Machines learn to recognize glasses

The dynamics of a viscous liquid undergo a dramatic slowdown when it is cooled to form a solid glass. Recognizing the structural changes across such a transition remains a major challenge. Machine-learning methods, similar to those Facebook uses to recognize groups of friends, have now been applied to this problem.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: A glass maker uses shears to separate the molten glass from the final object.


  1. Debenedetti, P. G. & Stillinger, F. H. Nature 410, 259–267 (2001).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  2. Berthier, L. & Biroli, G. Rev. Mod. Phys. 83, 587–645 (2011).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  3. Bishop, C. Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning (Springer, 2007).

    MATH  Google Scholar 

  4. Ceriotti, M., Tribello, G. A & Parrinello, M. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 108, 13023–13028 (2011).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  5. Ferguson, A. L., Panagiotopoulos, A. Z., Debenedetti, P. G. & Kevrekidis, I. G. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 107, 13597–13602 (2010).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  6. Rodriguez, A. & Laio, A. Science 344, 1492–1496 (2014).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  7. Schoenholz, S. S., Cubuk, E. D., Sussman, D. M., Kaxiras, E. & Liu, A. J. Nature Phys. 12, 469–471 (2016).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Michele Ceriotti or Vincenzo Vitelli.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Ceriotti, M., Vitelli, V. Machines learn to recognize glasses. Nature Phys 12, 377–378 (2016).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing