Credit: Daniela Kraft, Leiden University
Research in the Physics of Fluids and Soft Matter (FSM) community is centered on the understanding, manipulation, and creation of soft materials and complex flow phenomena.
A crucial aspect is the interplay of the spatial structure of (complex and reactive) fluids and soft matter with their emergent properties. Often, the collective properties of these materials emerge from the organization of simple building blocks into complex structures and phases. Hence, understanding and controlling the rich equilibrium and non-equilibrium phases of fluids and soft matter, as well as structure-property relations, play a key role.
The FSM community includes well-established sub-fields such as the dynamics of “simple” atomic or low-molecular weight fluids (e.g., turbulence, micro-fluidics, electrolytes, acoustics, phase change, and multiphase flows), the dynamics of fluid-solid systems (e.g., porous materials, granular flows, elastocapillarity), physics of plasmas (e.g., magnetohydrodynamics, gyrokinetic turbulence, non-equilibrium plasmas at atmospheric pressure, dusty plasmas), the dynamics and rheology of colloids, polymers, liquid crystals, and gels including phase behavior and self-assembly, and the dynamics and properties of bio(inspired) soft matter. These highly active fields within FSM have also seen many novel recent developments including, for instance but not limited to active fluids, (soft) robotic matter, 3D printing, nano-fluidics, nanobubbles, plasma jets, and mechanical metamaterials, with many more new topics expected to emerge in the near future.
For more information, see also the NWO research community FSM webpage https://www.nwo.nl/en/physics-fluids-and-soft-matter-fsm and their vision document https://www.nwo.nl/sites/nwo/files/media-files/Strategiedocumenten_PFSM.pdf