James Crutchfield, Dowman Varn

Paper #: 14-09-036

We review recent progress in applying information- and computation-theoretic measures to describe material structure that transcends previous methods based on exact geometric symmetries. We discuss the necessary theoretical background for this new toolset and show how the new techniques detect and describe novel material properties. We discuss how the approach relates to well known crystallographic practice and examine how it provides novel interpretations of familiar structures. Throughout, we concentrate on disordered materials that, while important, have received less attention both theoretically and experimentally than those with either periodic or aperiodic order.