Amorphous materials at low temperatures: why are they so similar?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In addition to the well-known qualitative similarity of behavior of a wide range of amorphous materials, one dimensionless quantity, the reduced attenuation of transverse ultrasound, shows a quantitative universality whose explanation in terms of the standard "tunnelling two-level system" model would seem to require a totally unbelievable degree of chance coincidence. In addition, while the height of the "plateau" in the thermal conductivity is material-specific, the higher-temperature behavior is consistent with universal behavior. I sketch the outlines of a scenario which holds out hope of understanding these observations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)322-327
Number of pages6
JournalPhysica B: Physics of Condensed Matter
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - Feb 2 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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