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Random organization

Ordered chaos

Although a driven colloidal suspension is not at equilibrium, a systematic study shows that such a system can still undergo a phase transition — albeit to a randomly organized state.

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Figure 1: Two ways in which time-reversibility can be broken in a periodically sheared, viscous suspension of large colloids.


  1. Corté, L, Chaikin, P. M., Gollob, J. P. & Pine, D. J. Nature Phys. 4, 420–424 (2008).

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  2. Pine, D. J., Gollub, J. P., Brady, J. F. & Leshansky, A. M. Nature 438, 997–1000 (2005).

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Frenkel, D. Ordered chaos. Nature Phys 4, 345–346 (2008).

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