Geometry of Soft Matter

Workshop | Monday, May 21, 2018 - Friday, May 25, 2018
Efi Efrati
Luiz Evangelista
Elisabetta Matsumoto
Ricardo Mosna
Italo Oliveira
Jonathan Selinger
Eran Sharon


The mechanics of solids has been revolutionized by new experimental and theoretical advances. The ability to print structures made of inhomogeneous materials or structures with fine scale engineered porosity, to manipulate biological and orientable materials, and to actuate responsive materials raises many new questions and challenges. Specifically, structures made of soft materials sustain large reversible deformations and can undergo dramatic shape transformations. In many cases, traditional linearized theories are not suitable for the description of such deformations, or for the design of such soft complex structures.


In recent years, theorists have found that geometric considerations and exact geometric formulation are useful in determining what types of structures, deformations, and defects can form, even in cases where traditional theories fail. The same local and global geometric notions, and the connections between them, have been used by experimentalists to design and build new mechanical systems, which can undergo controlled shape changes driven by heating or other energy input.


The range of systems to which these concepts are successfully applied is increasing rapidly. These include both equilibrium and non-equilibrium systems of synthetic and biological materials from macroscopic down to nano-scales. Accordingly, the scientific community that is interested in the geometry of soft matter is quite broad. It includes soft matter and solid state physicists, biophysicists, chemists, mechanical engineers, architects, textile designers and even artists. This young and diverse scientific community is united by interest in how the deep and powerful concepts of differential geometry can be used for the design and control of soft matter.


The workshop "Geometry of Soft Matter" will bring together researchers working on different aspects of this field. It will enable the participants to develop new insights by comparing geometrical considerations from different materials, and also to develop new research collaborations. The International Institute of Physics is an ideal location to connect researchers in this field from Latin America, the United States, Europe, and the rest of the world.


Topics that will be discussed during the workshop:  

  • Elasticity of soft solids
  • Structure of self-assembled aggregates
  • Growth of biological tissues
  • Geometrically frustrated liquid-crystal phases
  • Liquid crystal elastomers with programmed director configurations
  • Statistical mechanics of free-standing graphene sheets
  • Origami, kirigami, auxetics, and mechanisms
  • Topological mechanics
  • Geometry and mechanics of textiles


In order to assist the organizing staff to timely issue invitation and visa letters, book accommodation and communicate important information, the prospective particpants are kindly asked to regsiter by clicking on the "Register" button at the top of this page.

 Registration deadline: April 21, 2018


The policy of the International Institute of Physics with respect to organization of events demands collecting a registration fee from the participants. Members of the local community (institutions in Natal) are considered as free listeners and are exempt from paying the fee.


Students = R$ 400 Brazilian reais 

Postdocs/Professionals = R$ 800 Brazilian reais 


*Registration fee is accepted in cash only.

** Information about lodging will be posted soon.



Available for those who qualify for financial help. You may apply for financial support when filling out your registration form (Registration page).  


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