Bob Pelcovits’ soft matter theory group at Brown studies liquid crystal physics using a combination of analytic and numerical studies. We collaborate with Tom Powers of Brown’s School of Engineering and Department of Physics.
Current work centers on understanding the self-assembly of fd viruses, specifically, the beautiful experiments carried out by Zvonimir Dogic’s group. We model the various structures observed in the lab using phenomenological free energies which we then minimize to predict phase diagrams and the relative stability of different structures. We are also interested in active matter, again motivated by Dogic’s experiments on microtubules.