Recent Grants Awarded to Department of Physics Faculty
Professor Emanuela Del Gado has received a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation (Division of Materials Research) to study soft amorphous solids. This class of materials includes glass, cement, compacted sand, and even yogurt. At first, these materials may appear to have little in common, but amorphous solids share many mechanical properties. This grant supports research to develop a unified theoretical framework for the mechanical properties of these materials in terms of their microstructure.
Prof. Del Gado has also received a two-year New Directions grant from the Petroleum Research Fund of the American Chemical Society. This project focuses on double network gels, materials that consist of two interpenetrating polymer networks with contrasting mechanical properties. These novel soft materials are of interest for their mechanical strength and toughness.
Prof. Jim Freericks has been awarded a three-year grant from the Department of Energy (Basic Energy Sciences) to develop theoretical descriptions of charge-density-wave-ordered quantum materials when driven out of equilibrium in pump/probe experiments. Driving quantum materials into the nonequilibrium regime is a new area of study that will extend the ability to both understand and control the behavior of these materials.