Group Description

Group News

The Institute of Physics (IoP) of the Faculty of Science of the University of Amsterdam, comprises three research divisions: experiment, theory and high-energy physics. The experimental physics is done in the van der Waals Zeeman Institute for experimental physics (WZI) which has a long tradition of excellence in three programs covering soft condensed matter, quantum gases and hard condensed matter. The world-renown Soft Matter group of WZI comprises over 30 researchers and is active in areas located at the overlap between physics, chemistry and materials science. The research is powered both by a fundamental, knowledge-based drive, as well as an ambition to maximize the transfer and exploitation of our results in industry and society in general.


Our main research areas include hydrodynamics (evaporation) and rheology, complex fluids (surfactants, colloids, polymers), nucleation and phase transitions, thermodynamics. We have 4 publications in PRL every year and six papers in Nature or Science since 2004. We are the organiser of three major national and International events in our field: the Dutch Soft Matter, the New York-Amsterdam Soft Matter meetings and the CRYSPOM (Crystallization in Porous media) conference.

The Egg Challenge experiments


The egg challenge is a short documentary about how fun science actually can be. It is based on a popular experiment American children have to perform each year in science class; constructing a device which can save an egg from a high drop. We were astounded by the fact that an egg could survive a drop of six meters into cornstarch mixed with water. Thus we went out to discover why, equipped with a high speed camera. By filming the impact of eggs onto a variety of liquids like cornstarch with water, but also pure water and a viscoelastic fluid (borax), we were able to discover why eggs did not break. In this short film we show what experiments we did and what happens to an egg as it hits the liquid. Moreover, we explain why the eggs do not break.

Filmed at Science Park Amsterdam, University of Amsterdam


The egg challenge a film by Siesja Kamphuis and Nick Laan with Katja Goris on Vimeo.



Hoe bouwden de Egyptenaren de pyramides?


Zondag 13-10-2013 was er een radiointerview op radio 1 met dit onderwerp. Daniel Bonn licht toe waarom de Egyptenaren water gebruikten bij het transport van zware stenen door de woestijn:


Link naar interview





Participation International Soft Matter Conference 2013 Rome


Anh and Marthe proudly represent the Soft Matter Group at the International Soft Matter Conference 2013 in Rome:



Bloedspatten op de plaats delict verklaren


Het zou doorslaggevend kunnen zijn in het oplossen van een misdaad: wat is de oorsprong van de bloedspatten op de plaats delict? Daniel Bonn, expert op het gebied van vloeistofdynamica, is samen met het Nederlands Forensisch Instituut een onderzoek gestart om dat zeer nauwkeurig te kunnen bepalen.


Link naar Kennislink artikel





Surviving 12 hours in quicksand


Link to Outside magazine article




Soft matter football team wins prestigious IOP cup.


On Monday May 13th the Soft Matter football team (Thanh, Bruce, Bart, Daniel M, Duc and Mounir) won the Institute of Physics football tournament. The nerve wrecking final against the Photovoltaics team ended in a 2-2 draw. Skillful penalties by Daniel M and Thanh, in combination with heroic goalkeeping by Mounir, led to a win in the decisive penalty shootout.