Skip to content

Omar Group @ UC Berkeley

Computational and Theoretical Soft Matter

· Research ·

Our research aims to advance our theoretical understanding of both natural and synthetic soft condensed matter systems. We leverage the tools of statistical mechanics, continuum mechanics and computer simulation to bridge microscopic details with the emergent properties and phenomena displayed by these systems. Our current interests are diverse – ranging from the nonequilibrium phase behavior and dynamics of active colloids and driven polymers to understanding the self-assembly pathways of complex phases. The unifying theme in these seemingly disparate areas is the significance of both conservative and nonconservative (e.g., hydrodynamic, active) forces in shaping the underlying dynamic landscape and material properties. We endeavor to investigate this interplay of thermodynamic and dissipative forces by utilizing and devising simulation and analytical techniques at the coarse-grained length and time scales of interest. Moreover, we aim to study systems that have clear connections to experiments and venture to make meaningful and experimentally verifiable predictions.

Interfacial Phenomena

Active Matter and Nonequilibrium Systems


· Recent News ·

    • Oscar has been awarded the Jane Lewis Fellowship by the College of Engineering. Way to go, Oscar!
    • Gautam’s collaborative work with Xuefei Xu, Tom Russell and a great team is out in Advanced Materials!  
    • Luke and Dan’s first group papers are now available on arXiv! Luke develops a capillary wave theory for active interfaces while Dan generalizes the theory of symmetry-breaking coexistence to nonequilibrium systems
    • Eric is awarded the prestigious Berkeley Chancellor’s Fellowship — congratulations, Eric! 
    • First year graduate students Jiechao (Oscar) Feng and Eric Weiner join the group! Welcome!!
    • The group receives a 3M Faculty Award — thank you for the support!
    • Yoshi’s work demonstrating the implications of nonreciprocity on static and dynamical phase transitions is out in JCP

· People ·

We are a diverse group of scientists that value, respect and welcome people regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, culture, gender identity, sexuality, age and disability. 

From left to right: Ahmad, Dan, Nivedina, Luke, Gautam, Eric, Yoshi, Oscar
From left to right: Ahmad, Dan, Luke, Gautam, Katherine, Yoshi, Adri, Nivedina (Photo Credit: Hyeongjoo Row)

Ahmad Omar

Assistant Professor (MSE)

Ahmad’s CV

Gautam Bordia

Graduate Student (MSE)

Co-advised w/ Ting Xu

B.S. Physics, UCSB

Yu-Jen (Yoshi) Chiu

Graduate Student (MSE)

B.S. MSE, Penn State

Daniel Evans

Graduate Student (MSE)

B.S. MSE, Michigan

Jiechao (Oscar) Feng

Graduate Student (AS&T)

B.S. Physics, Peking University

Luke Langford

Graduate Student (MSE)

B.S. MSE, UC Berkeley

Nivedina Sarma

Graduate Student (MSE)

Co-advised w/ Phil Messersmith

B.S. Chemistry, U. Chicago

Eric Weiner

Graduate Student (MSE)

B.S. CS and Math, Harvey Mudd


· Papers ·

· Teaching ·

  • MSE 159: Introduction to Soft Matter Soft matter is ubiquitous in synthetic materials and plays a central role in living systems. This course aims to provide students with an introduction to the physics that govern the structure and dynamics of soft mater systems, including polymers, colloids, surfactants, membranes, and active matter. A particular emphasis will be placed on connecting a microscopic physical picture to the emergent phenomena and properties of interest using scaling theory and statistical mechanics. Specific topics will include Brownian motion and colloidal dynamics, the depletion force, polymer chain conformation, rubber elasticity; and surfactant and liquid crystal thermodynamics.

  • MSE 201B: Thermodynamics, Phase Behavior and Transport Phenomena in Materials This course covers the laws of classical thermodynamics, principles of statistical mechanics, and laws governing the transport of mass and momentum in materials. Applications include the construction of equilibrium and nonequilibrium phase diagrams and the kinetics of phase transformations in both soft and hard materials.

· Contact Us! ·

Our student/postdoc office is located at 248 Hearst Memorial Mining Building (HMMB). Ahmad’s office is located at 225 HMMB. Stop by and visit us!