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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.

Active Matter and Nonequilibrium Phenomena

Polymer Physics


· Recent News ·

  • May 2022
    Katherine Wang joins the group as a Blumenkranz Undergraduate Summer Research Fellow! Welcome Katherine!!!

  • March 2022
    Yoshi was awarded the Jane Lewis Fellowship by the College of Engineering! Congratulations, Yoshi!!
    Luke was awarded a DOD NDSEG Fellowship! Way to go, Luke!!

  • January 2022
    First year students Yoshi, Dan and Luke passed their MSE prelim exams! Congrats everyone!

  • August 2021
    Welcome to Nivedina, Gautam, Yoshi, Luke and Dan, the first graduate students to join the group!

  • July 2021
    Ahmad joins the Berkeley MSE faculty. Looking forward to working and learning with Cal students!

· 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 right to left: Nivedina, Adri, Yoshi, Katherine, Gautam, Luke, Dan, and Ahmad

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

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

Katherine Wang

Undergraduate Student

B.S. MSE/CBE, UC Berkeley


· 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!