Tag Archives: Soft matter

Analyzing the Sharkskin Instability

The stretching and recoiling of polymer chains leads to the characteristic ridge pattern as a soft material exits a narrow nozzle. Continue reading

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Shape-Shifting Proteins Follow Diffusion Rules

How quickly a protein diffuses in a liquid depends directly on its radius, which changes as the protein’s conformation fluctuates. Continue reading

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At-Home Experiment Exposes Gel Cracks

Kept out of the lab by COVID-19, an undergraduate student has performed experiments in his living room, revealing a mechanism for fracture elongation in soft materials. Continue reading

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Active Particles Map to Passive Random Walks

Researchers make systems of self-propelled particles produce the same large-scale dynamics as passive-particle systems. Continue reading

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Unjammed Emulsions Collapse to Liquids

An emulsion’s rigidity disappears when the droplets’ random thermal motion overcomes the confining pressure that binds them.  Continue reading

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Some Granular Columns Weigh Too Much

Particles packed inside a cylinder can experience a downward force from the walls, resulting in an apparent weight increase.  Continue reading

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Ants know the secret to avoiding traffic jams

In a confined environment, ants divide labor to optimize nest excavation. Continue reading

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When the ants go marching in

Ants in a confined environment divide labor to optimize excavation. Continue reading

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Size-sorted sand creates uncommon length scale in windblown formations

A combination of grain-size distribution and critical wind speed is responsible for megaripples. Continue reading

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Friction remembers its past

Experiments show that frictional interfaces age and bounce back. Continue reading

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