What is Soft Matter? Soft matter is all around us, it is ubiquitous! We eat soft matter, the clothes we wear are soft matter, the cars we drive are largely made from soft matter, when we paint our houses we use soft matter, from the moment we wake up in the morning and clean our teeth (with soft matter) to the moment we go to bed — very possibly on a foam mattress (soft matter) — we are surrounded by soft matter. In fact we are soft matter.
Soft matter encompasses polymers, gels, surfactants, colloids and biomaterials such as proteins and membranes. Soft matter science transcends the traditional disciplinary boundaries of chemistry, physics, biology, mathematics and engineering and to understand soft matter requires an interdisciplinary approach to research.
By its nature, soft matter is a highly interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary subject. The Durham Centre for Soft Matter is a focal point for the broad range of soft matter research and teaching in the Departments of Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Engineering at Durham University. On these pages, you will find information about the research and training activities coordinated by the Centre, and about the research groups within it.