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soft matter

A view of nanoparticles in a crystalline pattern.
Abstractions blog

Strange Metal-like Bonds Discovered in Customized Crystals

September 3, 2019

While studying materials made from DNA-coated nanoparticles, researchers found a new form of this matter: lattices in which smaller particles roam like electrons in metallic bonds.

Art for "Bubble Experiment Finds Universal Laws"

Bubble Experiment Finds Universal Laws

July 31, 2019

Physicists have found examples of “universality” in a system of confined bubbles. The work could help researchers understand the strange behavior of singularities.

Abstractions blog

‘Traffic Jams’ of Cells Help to Sculpt Embryos

September 27, 2018

By measuring mechanical forces inside an embryo for the first time, researchers have shown how a physical “jamming” mechanism assists development.

Photo of Lisa Manning

The Physics of Glass Opens a Window Into Biology

June 11, 2018

The physicist Lisa Manning studies the dynamics of glassy materials to understand embryonic development and disease.


Jammed Cells Expose the Physics of Cancer

August 16, 2016

The subtle mechanics of densely packed cells may help explain why some cancerous tumors stay put while others break off and spread through the body.


A Grand Theory of Wrinkles

April 8, 2015

A collaboration between mechanical engineers and mathematicians has revealed universal rules for how wrinkles form.


Solid or Liquid? Physicists Redefine States of Matter

April 3, 2013

Glass and other strange materials have long confounded textbook definitions of what it means to be solid. Now, two groups of physicists propose a new solution to the riddle.