Karina Gonzalez Lopez

PhD student and PhD council member
Quantum Matter, Soft Matter

I am interested in…

What are you working on?

My main interests reside in computational soft matter. In particular, I am interested in the low-frequency excitations and the mechanical properties of glasses, which are amorphous solids. Distinct from crystals whose atoms are perfectly located at their lattice sites and therefore show long-range order, amorphous solids’ atoms are disordered. There are different types of glasses and many of these are present in our daily lives. For example, not only do we have silicate glasses in our kitchen glassware and windows, but we also see polymeric glasses every day in the PVC pipes, and probably use metallic glasses embedded in our mobile phone sim cards. Despite glasses being so common in our daily lives and nature (our body itself features components that have glass-like behavior!), many fundamental questions remain open in the physics community. Glasses display very different specific heat and thermal conductivity at low temperatures than predicted by theory and disorder seems to be the reason for such discrepancies. My research focuses on generating thousands of different classes of computer glasses and studying their emergent properties. This is not only interesting as it sheds light on last-standing fundamental questions in glassy physics but for its relevance to material science for technological applications.

What are you looking to get out of the DRSTP?

The DRSTP is a place where the theoretical-physics community of the Netherlands comes together. While meeting fellow students and researchers among the Netherlands is a very important aspect of the DRSTP, I find even more interesting the fact that it provides an insight to the current theoretical-physics picture in the Netherlands which would be hard to follow without the DRSTP events, such as “trends in theory”.

What interests do you have apart from your research?

I like reading, especially about Latin-American history and poetry.