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Computational study of the structure and dynamics of supercooled liquids


Amorphous or glassy solids represent one of the last great challenges for materials science, chemical physics and condensed matter physics. These important materials present us with a range of fundamental puzzles: How do we account for materials properties in the absence of well defined crystal structures? Are there defects in glasses that govern the slow relaxation of these materials? What stabilizes these non-equilibrium solids against crystallization? What microscopic quantities determine the glass transition temperature at which the liquid state is recovered on heating? The goal of this  project is to develop and apply novel simulation methods to provide explicit answers to these questions.


Professor Peter Harrowell, Dr Toby Hudson.

Research location

School of Chemistry

Program type



The heart of this project is to develop simulation methods that allow each of the questions indicated above to be articulated explicitly in the form of an algorithm to be applied to the statistics of particle positions, momenta and interparticle forces. The tools are molecular dynamics simulations and statistical physics. The projects will include developing useful measures of amorphous structure and the establishing the relationship between structure and dynamics.

Additional information

HDR Inherent Requirements

In addition to the academic requirements set out in the Science Postgraduate Handbook, you may be required to satisfy a number of inherent requirements to complete this degree. Example of inherent requirement may include:

- Confidential disclosure and registration of a disability that may hinder your performance in your degree;
- Confidential disclosure of a pre-existing or current medical condition that may hinder your performance in your degree (e.g. heart disease, pace-maker, significant immune suppression, diabetes, vertigo, etc.);
- Ability to perform independently and/or with minimal supervision;
- Ability to undertake certain physical tasks (e.g. heavy lifting);
- Ability to undertake observatory, sensory and communication tasks;
- Ability to spend time at remote sites (e.g. One Tree Island, Narrabri and Camden);
- Ability to work in confined spaces or at heights;
- Ability to operate heavy machinery (e.g. farming equipment);
- Hold or acquire an Australian driver’s licence;
- Hold a current scuba diving license;
- Hold a current Working with Children Check;
- Meet initial and ongoing immunisation requirements (e.g. Q-Fever, Vaccinia virus, Hepatitis, etc.)

You must consult with your nominated supervisor regarding any identified inherent requirements before completing your application.

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Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is 1730