Soft Matter Physics

Search site

Dry sand is only solid while you squeeze it; let go, and it runs between your fingers. Starch molecules behave the same way, so wet corn-starch is liquid, but jams solid if you try to stir it.

Physics & Astronomy

Liquids, colloids, polymers, foams, gels, membranes, biological materials and therefore life itself are just a handful of examples of soft matter.

With many internal degrees of freedom with weak interactions between the structural components, soft matter sensitive to the environment enabling functional materials to be created.

Soft matter can be found throughout industrial and technological applications. Whether it’s packaging, adhesives, detergents, cosmetics, medicines, fuels, rubber tyres, or paints, soft matter physics is central and essential to understanding, designing and optimising these products. 

Research highlight

2014 REF impact

Soft Matter Group helps position physics at Leeds in equal 4th place in the UK for research impact, in the 2014 REF awards.

REF impact case study ›

Direct conversion of rheological compliance measurements into storage and loss moduli

The procedure that has become established, for obtaining frequency-dependent dynamic moduli from non-oscillatory rheometry, is either to fit the experimental data to a particular model (e.g. the generalized Maxwell model), or to use approximate Laplace transformation of the compliance, and subsequently transform from a Laplace to a Fourier description.

Prof Helen Gleeson's Inaugural Lecture

Wednesday 7th October 2015, 5pm Rupert Beckett Lecture Theatre.
Professor Gleeson, Cavendish Chair and Head of School elect is the first woman in the history of the School to hold both of these positions.

This is a free public lecture open to everyone.

Book your place ›

Postdoc Opportunities in the Soft Matter Physics Research Group

Working in the School of Physics and Astronomy, the roles will focus on the development of novel solid state polymer electrolytes for Li-ion battery applications.

Find out more ›