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.
- hmc.edu, 1/17/18 HMC Students Make Physics Discovery
- APS Physics, 1/5/19 Focus: How to Sculpt a Crystal
- hmc.edu, 4/5/16 Gerbode Named 2016 Cottrell Scholar
- Huffington Post, 10/8/12 Plant Roots: When Biology Is More Than Biology
- NBC News, 9/28/12 3-D videos show how plant roots navigate environment
- NPR’s Science Friday, 8/31/12 Unwinding the Cucumber Tendril
- Science Magazine, 8/31/12 How the Cucumber Tendril Coils and Overwinds
- AAS Science video, 8/31/12 Chasing Sunlight: Cucumber Tendrils in Action
- AAS Science video, 8/30/12 How Cucumber Tendrils Hoist Their Payload Sunwards
- The Guardian, 8/30/12 Scientists Unwind the Secrets of Climbing Plants’ Tendrils
- Harvard SEAS News Briefs, 8/30/12 Uncoiling the Cucumber’s Enigma
- Science Magazine, 1/22/10 Epitaxial growth writ large
- National Science Foundation, 1/21/10 Watching crystals grow may lead to faster electronic devices
- Physics World, 1/21/10 Jostling balls reveal secrets of ultrathin films
- Cornell Chronicle, 1/21/10 Watching crystals grow provides clues to making smoother, defect-free thin films