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. 

Mike Ries
Head of Group
School of Physics and Astronomy
EC Stoner Building
T: +44 (0)113 343 3859
m.e.ries@leeds.ac.uk

Research highlight

Pattern formation in draining thin film suspensions

In collaboration between the Soft Matter Group in Leeds, and researchers at Oslo University, a striking transition was discovered between two classes of self-organizing patterns in draining thin-film suspensions. The patterns are surprisingly common in everyday life, and immediately recognizable. This is because draining thin-film suspensions encompass two extremely familiar cases: dirt and food.
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