Welcome to Softbites!

Softbites brings you digestible summaries of the latest research in soft matter.

If you have a soft spot for the science of bubbles, liquid crystals and other squishy materials you might have heard of soft matter! If you have not, this branch of physics is a fascinating interdisciplinary field studying various kinds of materials from gels to biological systems. They all share the fact that they are soft, which means they are not exactly solid nor liquid. For instance, if you poke a bit of foam, it will resist like a solid at short times, but it will flow at longer times.

Read our posts to find out more about soft matter!

Recent posts

Check out our latest posts!

We write about colloids, gels, biomechanics and many other squishy subjects! We are inspired by the most recent papers and the classics as well.

SOFI CDT: a Ph.D. opportunity in soft matter in the UK

SOFI CDT (more formally known as the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Soft Matter and Functional Interfaces) is a doctoral training program based across three UK universities: Durham, Leeds and Edinburgh. SOFI is a broad and interdisciplinary program, recruiting up to 16 students per year from a variety of academic backgrounds including physics, chemistry, food science, maths and engineering. Academically, SOFI has a strong focus on soft matter science but offers its students a broader learning experience by incorporating training activities based on developing skills in business, enterprise, media and communications throughout the duration of the Ph.D. Each student also has the opportunity to spend time studying abroad.

How the leopard got its spots

Patterns are ubiquitous in nature, but how do they form? By considering how proteins can interact with each other, Alan Turing gives an explanation of how patterns can be formed without any genetic control, simply by following known laws of physics.

Maxwell-Boltzmann in the Mosh Pit

You must have observed a flock of birds or a school of fish form wonderful patterns. The entire group behaves like one big organism. Have you ever wondered if humans behave similarly when many of them get together? Are there similarities between violent mobs or cheering crowds and a herd of sheep or a flock of birds? Today’s paper studies human behaviour in one such form of gathering – A mosh pit!

Who are we?

Softbites is run by a group of young scientists who want to attract a wider audience to the beautiful world of soft matter.

We are Ph.D. students and postdocs from all over the world. Writing for Softbites is a way of sharing our passion for soft matter. We would especially love to attract younger students to research by explaining fascinating research papers, which are often technical and intimidating for people outside the field.

Meet the authors!

If you fell in love with a specific field of research while you were reading some posts on Softbites, feel free to get in touch with the author to ask more questions.

Annie Stephenson
Harvard University, Cambridge

Annie Stephenson

Read Annie’s recent posts
Author since: 9/2017

Arash Manafirad
UMass, Amherst

Arash Manafirad

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Author since: 9/2017

Arthur Michaut
Harvard Medical School, Boston

Arthur Michaut

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Author since: 9/2017

Christine Middleton
New York University, New York City

Christine Middleton

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Author since: 1/2018

Colm Kelleher
Harvard University, Cambridge

Colm Kelleher

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Author since: 9/2017

Gilad Kaufman
Yale University, New Haven

Gilad Kaufman

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Author since: 9/2017

Olga Shishkov
Georgia Tech, Atlanta

Olga Shishkov

Read Olga’s recent posts
Author since: 1/2018

Foteini Delisavva
Charles University, Prague

Foteini Delisavva

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Author since: 1/2018

Koushik S.
Raman Research Institute, Bangalore

Koushik S.

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Author since: 2/2018

Sanja
Forschungszentrum, Jülich

Sanja

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Author since: 2/2018

Danny Seara
Yale University, New Haven

Danny Seara

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Author since: 2/2018

Alex Klotz
MIT, Cambridge

Alex Klotz

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Author since: 2/2018

Rob Campbell
OIST, Onna-son

Rob Campbell

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Author since: 3/2018

Emily Riley
DTU, Copenhagen

Emily Riley

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Author since: 3/2018

Debayan
Center for Nanoscience, Bangalore

Debayan

Read Debayan’s recent posts
Author since: 3/2018

Become a writer

If you want to become a Softbites writer, or you just want to get in touch with us, please reach out!

 

 

Our friends

We are proud to be part of the bites family.

The eldest is Astrobites which has been writing about astrophysics since 2010. The concept has been extended to other fields of science through sister websites listed below. Have a look if you’re interested!

astrobites

chembites

evobites

geoscibites

oceanbites

particlebites

Thanks to The Lutetium Project!

Most of the beautiful pictures and videos illustrating this website have been kindly provided by our friends from the Lutetium Project. They run a YouTube channel featuring the connections between art and soft matter. You MUST check them out! Especially this video, which most of the footages illustrating this website have been extracted from.