HMC Expert: Sharon Gerbode

Biomechanics, Biophysics, Physics, Soft Matter Physics

Sharon Gerbode, PhD, Iris and Howard Critchell Associate Professor of Physics, researches soft matter physics.

While physicists love to simplify the world (think “spherical cow” approximations), many materials evade traditional classifications as either liquid or solid. Such soft materials abound in everyday life; common examples range from biological tissue to sand dunes. Incorporation of soft matter into modern engineering requires a deeper understanding of these materials. Soft matter physics explores the fundamental physical principles that underlie the complexity of such systems, and has opened up an exciting new class of questions with applications to industry, biology and materials science.

The Gerbode lab focuses on two areas at the forefront of experimental soft matter physics: colloids, where microscopic, solid particles suspended in a fluid self-assemble into thermodynamic phases and adaptive biomaterials, where soft microstructured biological tissues actuate complex motions.

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Judy Augsburger

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