Within the Department of Physics and Astronomy there are five active research groups working in the area of Soft Matter and Biophysics. Soft matter has been described by Pierre-Gilles de Gennes in his Nobel lecture as materials which can experience large transformations in response to small perturbations — simply put, these materials are soft and squishy because the intermolecular forces that hold them together are relatively weak. Biophysics is an area of research which bridges physics and biology and applies the principles, techniques and problem-solving skills from the physical sciences to the study of living systems.
Soft matter and biophysics are inherently multidisciplinary and benefit from frequent collaboration between scientists with different backgrounds (chemists, biologists, engineers, etc.). Through these collaborations novel research directions emerge resulting in innovation and excellence in scientific research. Our research teams work on a variety of topics carrying out theoretical, computational and experimental studies. Systems of study range from complex fluids and polymers, to lipid membranes, and studies of living cells and genetics. Our teams often collaborate resulting in a collegial atmosphere and offers outstanding opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students. We encourage you to contact any of our faculty, to arrange a visit and talk science with us, and explore the possibilities for working and studying here.