A better understanding of materials, including their application to new technologies, has been important to humans for thousands of years. In the Laboratory for Materials Physics Research at Washington University in St. Louis, we are studying the formation, structures, and physical properties of many materials, particularly novel non-crystalline phases of metals, such as quasicrystals, metallic glasses, nanocrystalline composites, and liquids.

Our research in materials physics often requires the use of cutting-edge techniques. To probe the atomic structure of certain metallic alloys over their entire phase spectrum, including the supercooled liquid state, our group developed the Beamline Electrostatic Levitator (BESL) (pictured), in conjunction with NASA Marshall Space Flight Center and the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory. This technique was instrumental in the first experimental confirmation of a 50 year-old hypothesis concerning the relations between the nucleation barrier (allowing liquids to be supercooled) and the liquid structure. Follow the links above to learn more about our group and other areas of research.