Following the evolution of metastable glassy states under external perturbations: compression and shear-strain
This thesis sums up the research work I performed as a PhD student in Sapienza Università di Roma, and École Normale Supérieure, Paris, under the joint supervision of Prof. Giorgio Parisi and Dr. Francesco Zamponi. The thesis focuses on the theoretical study of metastable glasses prepared through non-equilibrium protocols. The first two chapters contain a review of the phenomenology of equilibrium supercooled liquids and non-equilibrium glasses, along with an exposition of the theoretical tools used up to now to approach the glass problem; the third chapter contains a review of the theoretical tools which are employed in the following of the thesis; the following two chapters contain our main result, namely a mean-field and first-principles theory of metastable glassy states which, as we show, is both able to reproduce known observations and to formulate new predictions and insights into the very nature of the glass phase, with tangible consequences in terms of behavior at high densities (or equivalently, low temperatures) and elasto-plastic response under strain; the last two chapters contain a numerical check of some of the results, and our conclusions and proposals for further research. The results I report in the present work have been for the most part already published, but here they are presented in a consistent and (as much as possible) self-contained manner.