Michael Widom

Department of Physics, Carnegie Mellon University
Ph.D., Physics, University of Chicago, 1983
Summary:

Professor Widom's research focuses on theoretical modeling of novel materials in condensed matter and biological physics settings. Methods of statistical mechanics, quantum mechanics and computer simulation are used to investigate structure, stability and properties of these materials.

Metals in noncrystalline (nonperiodic) structures are a major focus of effort, including: Liquid metals, for example the liquid-liquid transition in supercooled silicon); Metallic glass es, which are multi-component alloys that freeze into a solid while maintaining a liquid-like structure; Quasicrystals, which are partially ordered and highly symmetric structures that are spatially quasiperiodic. These problems are addressed using first-principles total energy calculation coupled with statistical mechanics to model entire ensembles of probable structures.

Biological physics is the second major focus, including two specific projects. Virus capsids are highly symmetric protein shells that protect the viral genome. Methods of continuum mechanics and symmetry analysis are applied to identify soft modes of deformation. The RNA molecule plays many roles at the heart of gene expression, some of which such as microRNAs and riboswitches have only recently been discovered. A characteristic feature of RNA is its highly convoluted secondary structure, which are analyzed from both thermodynamic and kinetic points of view.

Students
Namesort descending Position Email
Gao, Qin Graduate Student
Mihalkovic, Marek Graduate Student
Yao, Sanxi Graduate Student sanxiy@andrew.cmu.edu

Qin Gao


Graduate Student


6305 Wean Hall, Pittsburgh PA, 15213

Affiliation:

Physics
Carnegie Mellon University

Websites:

Marek Mihalkovic


Graduate Student


6305 Wean Hall, Pittsburgh PA, 15213

Affiliation:

Physics
Carnegie Mellon University

Sanxi Yao


Graduate Student

sanxiy@andrew.cmu.edu
5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh PA, 15213
412-352-4434

Affiliation:

Physics
Carnegie Mellon University
Most Cited Publications
  1. "Quasicrystal equilibrium state," Michael Widom, Katherine J. Strandburg, and Robert H. Swendsen, Phys. Rev. Lett. 58, 706 (1987)
  2. "Transfer-matrix analysis of a two-dimensional quasicrystal," M. Widom, D. P. Deng, and C. L. Henley, Phys. Rev. Lett. 63, 310 (1989)
  3. "Ductility improvement of amorphous steels: Roles of shear modulus and electronic structure," X.J. Gu, S. Joseph Poon, Gary J. Shiflet, Michael WidomActa Materialia 56, 88 (2008)
  4. "Symmetry, Landau theory and polytope models of glass," David R. Nelson, Michael Widom, Nuclear Physics B 240, 113 (1984) 
  5. "Radial fingering in a Hele-Shaw cell: a weakly nonlinear analysis," José A. Miranda, Michael WidomPhysica D: Nonlinear Phenomena 120, 315 (1998)
Recent Publications
  1. "Information Entropy of Liquid Metals," M. C. Gao, and M. WidomJ. Phys. Chem. B (2018)
  2. "Thermodynamics of concentrated solid solution alloys," M. C. GaoC. ZhangP. GaoF. ZhangL. Z. OuyangM. WidomJ. A. HawkCurrent Opinion in Solid State and Materials Science, 21, 238 (2017)
  3. "Segregation-induced ordered superstructures at general grain boundaries in a nickel-bismuth alloy," Zhiyang Yu, Patrick R. Cantwell, Qin Gao, Denise Yin, Yuanyao Zhang, Naixie Zhou, Gregory S. Rohrer, M. Widom, Jian Luo, Martin P. HarmerScience, 358, 97 (2017).
  4. "Shape-Adapted Ewald Summation," M. Widom, cond-mat
  5. "Tile-decoration model of a Co-rich AlCoNi quasicrystal derived from the W-AlCoNi approximant," M. Mihalkoviˇc, M. Widom,cond-mat/04xxxxxx

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