Daniel A. Beller

Assistant Professor of Physics

University of California, Merced

Please see my group's new site at http://faculty.ucmerced.edu/dbeller/.

I am a theoretical and computational physicist with research interests in soft matter and biological/biomaterial physics. The interplay of topological defects, nontrivial boundary geometries, and novel bulk material configurations is a common theme in much of my work. I also study biological population genetics and its connections with problems in statistical physics. Much of my work is in close collaborations with experimentalists from Physics, Materials Science, and Chemical Engineering backgrounds.

Research Gallery

In nematic liquid crystals, disclination loops encircle colloidal inclusions and microposts, and can guide elasticity-mediated colloidal organization.

In the smectic liquid crystal phase, molecules are ordered in layers of single molecule thickness. When the boundaries demand that the layers curve, equal layer spacing is accommodated through self-organized arrays of focal conic domains, which are layer geometries organized around ellipse-hyperbola defect pairs.

Topographic cues from the substrate direct focal conic domain organization.

"Smectic flower" assemblies can be accommodated by a combination of focal conic domains and spherical patches.

Rows of incomplete, elliptic-hyperbolic focal conic domains arise upon cooling the nematic into the smectic phase.

In 2D colloidal crystals of cylindrical topology, separation of dislocation pairs (green+magenta sites) changes the crystal's chirality (or helical pitch), radius, and tube axis orientation.

Join GSOFT, the American Physical Society Topical Group on Soft Matter! Comprising over 1600 soft matter researchers, GSOFT is a new and rapidly growing home for Soft Matter at the APS.

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You can join today and help GSOFT become an APS Division:

  • Go to the Membership webpage
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  • Under the Membership tab, click "Add Unit"
  • Under "Topical Groups", select "Topical Group on Soft Matter"