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Foams & Complex Systems Group

Our research concerns the physics of foams, general packing problems, and topics in econo- and sociophysics.


    Physics World: Scutoids cells discovered in soap bubbles


    Our work on scutoids in soap bubbles featured in an article in Physics World. Click here for the online article.

    Soap and scutoids


    A century and half ago the blind Belgian scientist Joseph Plateau laid down the basic rules that give the geometry and topology of foams, as dictated by surface tension. Researchers still delight in working out their consequences: it is often a complicated game but it is played according to simple laws, for example that no more than three soap films may meet in a line.

    Anyone who looks at the forms of biological cells is struck by the fact that the same rules seem to apply. So when a new type of epithelial (skin) cell arrived on the scene recently, causing quite a splash in the media, physicists in Dublin and Aberystwyth immediately asked: is this shape to be found in a foam under similar circumstances?
    Read more here.

    The pitch drop experiment


    TCD pitch drop drips five years earlier than expected! The detached drop was noted by chance by Hugh Conlon, a Physics student, on Friday the 19th of October. How much this is due to its new location in the Berkeley Library, where it is now placed underneath a specially made glass cover, is not clear.
    pitch-drop1 pitch-drop2

Ten most recent publications

  1. Richmond P, Roehner BM, Wang Q-h (2019), The physics of large-scale food crises, Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications 522 274-293
  2. Höhler E, Weaire D (2019), Can liquid foams and emulsions be modeled as packings of soft elastic particles?, Adv. Colloid Interface Sci. 263 19-37
  3. Whyte D, Didkovsky N, Hutzler S (2018), Zero Waste: Mapping the Evolution of the Iterative Sight-Reading of a Piano Score, Music Theory Spectrum 40 302-313
  4. Mughal A, Winkelmann J, Weaire D, Hutzler S (2018), Columnar structures of soft spheres: Metastability and hysteresis, Phys Rev E 98 043303
  5. Drenckhan W, Hutzler S (2018), Chapter 16: The Structure of Liquid Foams in Foam Film and Foams: Fundamentals and Applications, CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group 295--308
  6. Cox S, Kraynik AM, Weaire D, Hutzler S (2018), Ideal wet two-dimensional foams and emulsions with finite contact angle, Soft Matter 14 5922--5929
  7. Boland CS, Khan U, Binions M, Barwich S, Boland JB, Weaire D, Coleman JN (2018), Graphene-coated polymer foams as tuneable impact sensors, Nanoscale 10 5366
  8. Li R, Richmond P, Roehner BM (2018), Effect of population density on epidemics, Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications 510 713-724
  9. Haffner B, Lalieu J, Richmond P, Hutzler S (2018), Can soap films be used as models for mortality studies?, Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications 508 461-470
  10. Berrut S, Richmond P, Roehner BM (2018), Excess tuberculosis-mortality in young women: High accuracy exploration, Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications 506 476-485
All Publications

Selection of Books

Tomás Saraceno: Cloud — Specific by Meredith Malone.

This book includes an interview with Denis Weaire and many images of foam structures taken by the group
View on Amazon

Bibliometrics: Use and Abuse in the Review of Research Performance by Denis Weaire et al.

View on Portland Press

Special Issue of Philosophical Magazine: International Workshop on Packing Problems edited by Stefan Hutzler.

View on Taylor & Francis Online

Econophysics and Physical Economics by Peter Richmond, Jürgen Mimkes & Stefan Hutzler published by Oxford University Press.

View on Oxford University Press

A Collection of Papers Presented at the 11th Eufoam Conference, Dublin, Ireland, 3-6 July, 2016, edited by Stefan Hutzler, Matthias Möbius, Slavka Tcholakova and Florence Elias.

View on ScienceDirect
All Books