Active glasses

Liesbeth M.C. Janssen (Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


Active glassy matter has recently emerged as a novel class of non-equilibrium soft matter, combining energy-driven, active particle movement with dense and disordered glass-like behavior. Here we review the state-of-the-art in this field from an experimental, numerical, and theoretical perspective. We consider both non-living and living active glassy systems, and discuss how several hallmarks of glassy dynamics (dynamical slowdown, fragility, dynamical heterogeneity, violation of the Stokes-Einstein relation, and aging) are manifested in such materials. We start by reviewing the recent experimental evidence in this area of research, followed by an overview of the main numerical simulation studies and physical theories of active glassy matter. We conclude by outlining several open questions and possible directions for future work.

Original languageEnglish
Article number503002
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Physics: Condensed Matter
Issue number50
Publication statusPublished - 18 Dec 2019


  • active matter
  • glass formation
  • non-equilibrium physics
  • soft condensed matter


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