Home Contact Links Jobs
Introduction Admissions Programs People Research Community Outreach News & Seminars
Soft Matter and Biological Physics

Soft condensed matter and biological physics study systems that are mechanically soft, including liquids, colloids, polymers, foams, granular materials, liquid crystals, and biological systems from the scale of biological molecules to whole organisms or ecosystems. These systems share common features in which thermal fluctuations and entropy effects are important and quantum effects are negligible. These unique features have rendered soft and biological materials a wide range of interesting microstructures, dynamics and phase behaviors. Soft matter and biological physics are relatively new areas of physics. They are interdisciplinary in nature, often involving one or more fields of chemistry, biology, materials science, chemical engineering and mechanical engineering besides physics. Currently, eight research groups in the Physics Department work in this area. embracing a wide range of soft matter systems, including colloids, polymers, active matters, simple or complex fluids and their surfaces, electrorheological fluids, microfluidics, neurons, synaptic vesicles, and myosin X. For details, click on the links below for individual group webpages.

Related Information
  • Prof. Yilong Han’s group – granular matter and physics of glass and crystals from colloidal systems (experiment/simulation)
  • Prof. Hyokeun Park’s group – single-molecule biophysics, single-cell biophysics, exocytosis of synaptic vesicles and synaptic transmission in living neurons (experiment)
  • Prof. Ping Sheng’s group – hydrodynamic boundary conditions, nanomaterials, inhomogeneous media, and wave functional materials (experiment/theory)
  • Prof. Penger Tong’s group – Interfacial dynamics, structure and dynamics of colloids and active matter, cell mechanics and turbulent convection (experiment)
  • Prof. Ophelia Tsui’s group – polymer nanometer films and surfaces (experiment)
  • Prof. Weijia Wen’s group – electro- and magneto- rheological fluids, field-induced pattern and structure transitions, and micro- and nano-fluidic control, etc. (experiment)
  • Prof. Qin Xu’s group – dynamics of complex fluids and interfacial mechanics of soft matter (experiment)
  • Prof. Rui Zhang’s group – computational soft matter physics, including active matter, liquid crystals, and complex fluids (theory/simulation)