Soft Matter, Nonlinear and Statistical Physics

Soft Matter Physics

Soft matter science (or soft condensed matter) is the study of materials that are neither crystalline solids, nor simple liquids — they are somewhere in between. This interesting state of matter can take many forms and can be seen everywhere in the world around us. Some everyday examples of soft matter include, soaps, paints, gels, plastics, liquid crystals and most of your own body and the food you eat. At UC Merced, we are building a group of faculty interested in problems related to soft materials, from new liquid crystal composite materials, to granular media and cell membranes. 

Focus areas include:

  • liquid crystals (Hirst),
  • polymer physics and elasticity (Gopinathan),
  • fluid dynamics and granular systems (Liu)
  • membranes (Hirst)
  • experiments on geometry and topology in soft matter and fluids (Kleckner)

Nonlinear and Statistical Physics

Most processes encountered in nature are inherently nonlinear, meaning that nonlinear dynamics finds applications across a wide range of disciplines from mathematics and physics to chemistry, biology, and engineering.  As such, UC Merced Physics faculty from various subfields share a common bond with their interest in nonlinear phenomena and statistical physics. 

Focus areas include:

  • chaotic dynamics in atomic systems (Mitchell),
  • nonlinear optics in semiconductor nanostructures (Scheibner) and fiber devices (Sharping),
  • thermal transport in DNA (Chien),
  • collective phenomena in swarming and foraging (Gopinathan),
  • anomalous transport in complex environments (Gopinathan),
  • fundamental studies of topological dynamics (Mitchell).

 


Contact Us

Physics Graduate Group Chair
Sayantani Ghosh, Associate Professor
 
Physics Undergraduate Lead
Lin Tian, Associate Professor
 
Physics Bylaw Unit Chair
Kevin Mitchell, Professor
 
Physics Address
University of California, Merced
5200 North Lake Road
Merced, CA 95343
 
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University of California, Merced
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School of Natural Sciences
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5200 N. Lake Road
Merced, CA 95343

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University of California, Merced
 
The first new American research
university in the 21st century, with a
mission of research, teaching and service.
 
University of California, Merced
5200 North Lake Road
Merced, CA 95343
T: (209) 228-4400
 
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