My research is focused on microscopic, physical understanding of the origin of the unique material properties of polymers and complex fluids. The hallmarks of these "soft" systems are:

  1. Interplay between thermal fluctuations and energetic tendency to order.
  2. Exquisite sensitivity of structure to imposed fields, particularly deformation and flow.

These features of soft systems afford unique opportunities for design and control of material properties, but also pose substantial theoretical challenges. Material design in the huge parameter space of complex fluids cannot be achieved by a strictly empirical approach, but requires a conceptual understanding as well, to successfully exploit the potential of these remarkable materials.

Current Research Areas


Members of the Milner group employ a wide range of theoretical tools to solve their problems. Broadly speaking, we use whatever it takes: equilibrium or nonequilibrium statistical mechanics at the micro- or mesoscale, sometimes combined with Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluid mechanics at the meso- or macroscale.

Computational methods include:

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