Soft matter physics studies typical materials we see and interact with everyday, where direct quantum effects are negligible. These materials are also often soft or "squishy", like foams, emulsions (mayonnaise), gels, granular materials, glasses (amorphous solids), and biological cells and tissues. Unlike simple solids, liquids, and gases they exhibit complex behaviors. Consider shaving foam – it seems like a solid, but will flow easily when perturbed. We can walk on sand or build a sand castle, but sand can also be poured like a liquid. The soft matter group at CCNY physics and the Levich Institute uses experiments, simulations, and theory to push our understanding of these fascinating materials forward.
Statistical physics is one of the key theoretical techniques used to understand soft matter, as well as, a host of other complex systems. Statistical physics exploits the deep connection between local and global behavior, from force networks in soft matter to neural networks in the brain to friends on facebook. The statistics of local interactions allow us to predict and understand global behavior like mechanical response, thinking, and propagation of ideas.
Using Delaunay triangularization to characterize non-affine displacement fields during athermal, quasistatic deformation of amorphous solids. WW Jin, A Datye, UD Schwarz, MD Shattuck, CS O'Hern, Soft Matter 17(38):(13) 2021.
Last Updated: 02/21/2022 13:34