Soft Matter / Statistical Physics
Fascinating natural patterns are observed in a system composed of many particles subject to non-linear laws. Statistical Physics aims to building a link between the microscopic properties of the particles and some macroscopic variables. The Group of Research and Applications in Statistical Physics (GRASP) at the University of Liège was founded in 1999 to address those questions in Soft Matter.
The sketch here below illustrate the various scales and systems under investigation. The GRASP projects are dedicated to the study of nano particles, suspensions, monolayers, biosensors, self-assembling systems, powders, colloids, granular systems, droplets, antibubbles, microfluidics, soap films, emulsions, foams, complex fluids, active matter, rheology, chaos and non-linear phenomena.
About 25 scientists are working in the GRASP, which is organized into sub-units focussing on selected topics :
- Optofluidics : Prof. H.Caps
- Non-linear Physics : Dr. S.Dorbolo
- Biophotonics : Prof L.Dreesen
- Theoretical Physics : Prof. O.Gerasymov
- Micromechanics : Prof. T. Gilet
- Mesoscale Soft Matter : Prof. G.Lumay
- Statistical Physics : Prof. N.Vandewalle
International collaborations are established within networks of scientists. Today, four international networks are active :
- ESA MAP “Hydrodynamics of wet foams”
- ESA Topical Team VIPGRAN
- ESA Topical Team Polardrop
- COST Action MP1106 on Interfaces.
Equipments / Facilities
The GRASP has created the APTIS structure which has the equipment for characterizing granular systems and powders (granulometer, microscopy, flow index, cohesion index). The group owns also a lab dedicated to liquid characterizations such as rheometer, viscosimeters, droplet goniometer (surface tension), Langmuir films, etc. Micro fabrication and soft lithography is now possible. A cluster of many Apple Xserve computers (96 processors) has been developed for numerical simulations. The labs are equipped with fast video recorders and electromagnetic shakers.