William Irvine

Professor of Physics

William Irvine
(773) 702-7197
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The Irvine Group’s research spans soft condensed matter, optics, and topological fluid mechanics. Many phenomena in nature, from complex flows to the ways materials self-assemble and break, are underpinned by elegant geometric and topological mechanisms. One of our focuses is to seek and unravel the presence of these powerful interpretative keys that can be used to control the properties and assembly of materials. One example is the experimental and theoretical study of knotted fields. We seek to understand the physics and broader role of these fascinating excitations through experiments on knotted and shaped vortices in water as well as the mathematical structure of knots in fields. Similarly, geometric and topological constraints can provide a powerful interpretative key for understanding the behavior of many condensed matter systems, such as topological defects in ordered phases, the self-assembly of structures driven by the geometry of the constituents, and the relationship between chiral geometry and physical response.

Topics: Knotted Fields

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