How do you make something as soft and slippery as custard able to withstand a bullet?
University of Cambridge mathematician Michael Cates will explain how in a live lecture hosted by the Perimeter Institute on Wednesday 2 November at 7.00pm EDT (11.00pm UTC, 10.00am Thursday AEDT). Wherever you are in the world, you can watch the lecture right here.
Cates is an expert on the theory of soft matter, such as polymers, colloids, gels, liquid crystals, and granular material, as well as the burgeoning field of “active matter.”
So what’s this got to do with custard?
Unlike most common materials, soft matter has strange properties that allows it to change its state – from liquid to solid, for example – under certain conditions. Soft matter research touches on food production, the development of building materials, and yes, the manufacture of life-saving technologies like bulletproof vests (though they probably won’t be made of custard).