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Alberto Fernandez-Nieves


Our research interests are in experimental soft condensed matter. We study a variety of classical many-body systems that have characteristic energy scales accessible at room temperature and that are internally characterized by mesoscopic length scales. As a result, these soft materials are easily deformable by external stresses and fields, or even by thermal fluctuations, and have microscopic dynamics and structural features that can be directly imaged using optical-microscopy techniques and probed using light scattering; this enables addressing many open questions in equilibrium and non-equilibrium physics. Recent research involves partially ordered fluids, colloidal crystals and glasses, and granular and active matter. A recurring theme is the presence of defects in the order and how they sense and respond to the local geometry, the local environment and the system's inherent activity. We also work in fluid mechanics, hydrodynamic instabilities, and electrohydrodynamics, with an emphasis on drop formation and jet break-up.