Soft Matter Physics

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DID YOU KNOW?
Nappies are full of polymers. They are made of polyethylene, use elastic made from natural rubber to keep them from leaking but most importantly they're packed with polyacrylic acid, a member of the acrylate family of polymers that absorb lots of moisture.


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. 

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 ›

Research highlight

Shear Banding in Polymer Solutions?

Do polymer solutions "shear band" or not? Peter Olmsted and James Adams have shown that current theories are consistent with interpretations of both shear banding (unstable flow) or stable flow. However, which results one finds depends on the rheometer used! The message is that one needs to be very careful when interpreting experiments on the non-linear rheology of entangled polymeric fluids!

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