Physics of Soft and Living Matter

Research in Physics of Soft and Living Matter is highly interdisciplinary, lying at the interface between physics, biology, chemistry and engineering. Soft and Living Matter (SLM) is easily reconfigurable, often out of equilibrium, and includes both inert examples, such as liquid crystals and metamaterials, and living examples ranging from cells and tissues, to bird flocks and networks of neurons. SLM systems are typically heterogeneous and often active, carry information and are capable of self-organization and evolution. 

 Affiliated Faculty

Visiting Distinguished Professor of Physics and Deputy Director, KITP
I am interested in all aspects of symmetry, symmetry-breaking, geometry and topology across fields ranging from quantum field theory to soft and living matter, with a particular focus on topological defects. My recent work is on the statistical mechanics of thermalized 2D-metamaterials, such as graphene, the more general behavior of elastic and fluid membranes and the physics of active nematics.
Faculty Graduate Advisor
Self-assembly of soft materials, active matter and out of equilibrium physics
Associate Professor
We combine theory and experimentation to understand how perception and behavioral decisions come about in terms of neural-circuit computation.
Director, Biomolecular Science and Engineering Program
My research group is interested in the emergent behavior of active and living matter.
Distinguished Professor

Cyrus R. Safinya is a Distinguished Professor of Materials at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Experimental studies of single biomolecules and self-assembled biomolecular systems
Terahertz quantum condensed matter, protein and device physics. Strongly-driven charges and spins in solids.
KITP Permanent Member