My interests lie in applying state-of-the-art computational techniques to obtain new insights into the fundamental physics of soft-condensed matter. For example, the rendering above is from an topological analysis (primitive-path analysis Science 2004) of the mesoscopic structure of a polymer liquid before and after a deformation. By understanding how this structure responds to deformation, we can directly observe and start to understand the molecular origin of viscoelasticity in polymer materials.
The material properties of soft-condensed materials are typically due to emergent mesoscopic structures and their dynamics. Computer modeling is an ideal technique to understand these relations. To study them we need to develop models that accurately capture the physics of the mesoscopic structures and their dynamics, and at the same time simulate systems that are sufficiently large to allow material properties to be sampled. This requires coarse-grained models.
With the insights gained from simulations, we develop a deeper understanding of the fundamental physics of soft-matter, we can very effectively examine the validity of state-of-the-art theories and experimental analysis methods, and ultimately contribute to the design of new materials with novel properties.