Soft & Living Matter


Physics of Living Matter




"The Physics of Living Matter Group looks at LIFE, or as we put it, Living In Fluctuating Environments, usinga cross-disciplinary approach that  bridges the physics of FLOW (matter & information) and FORM (geometry, order & topology) to uncover biological FUNCTIONS (behavior & traits) in microbial systems.We apply principles of Soft and Active Matter Physics and Modelling techniques to understand how microbes like bacteria, archaea and algae adapt to changes in their environment." 

Group Leader: Associate Prof. Anupam Sengupta

Experimental Soft Matter Physics




The ESMP group explores ordered nano-/microscale self-assembly in liquid crystals and colloids, and the phenomena it gives rise to on  macroscopic scale, often optical or mechanical. Research foci range from fundamental physics to interdisciplinary application opportunities.  With microfluidics and electrospinning we produce droplets, shells and cylinders, to study the impact of curved soft confinement in unconventionalgeometries, often with fluid–fluid interfaces.

Group Leader: Prof. Jan Lagerwall

Physics of Advanced Materials




The Laboratory for the Physics of Advanced Materials (LPM) applies macroscopic experimental techniques to investigate thermal and  mechanical properties of matter. The group has active research programs in Brillouin spectroscopy, rheology and ultra-fast calorimetry of  complex fluids, polymers and composites.                     

Group Leader: Dr. Jörg Baller                                                


Liquid Crystals and Nanomaterials




Group Leader: Dr. Giusy Scalia

Integrative Biophysics



Group Leader: Associate Prof. Alexander Skupin (LCSB)

Physics of Active Matter




The PAM group explores the physics of active systems made of self-propelled interacting agents. Using minimal theoretical models, the aim is to capture the essential ingredients which control the emergent dynamics, and to provide a synthetic understanding of the complex phenomenology of active matter. We rely on tools of statistical mechanics, hydrodynamics, and soft matter, with a particular emphasis on the role of nonequilibrium fluctuations.

Group Leader: Assistant Prof. Etienne Fodor


Complex Systems and Statistical Mechanics





The CSSM group develops statistical methods to describe the dynamics and thermodynamics of complex systems operating far-from-equilibrium. These include open quantum systems, biochemical reaction networks and electrical circuits. We are particularly interested in characterizing the trade-offs between energetic dissipation, speed, precision and accuracy of processes such as energy conversion, information processing and computation.  

Group Leader: Prof. Massimiliano Esposito


Theoretical Chemical Physics





The TCP group develops novel methodologies bringing the quantum-mechanical level of insight to large and complex systems by combining first-principles quantum methods, machine learning, coarse-grained statistical approaches, as well as developing novel mathematical and computational techniques.

Group leader: Prof. Alexandre Tkatchenko