Andrea Liu, Ph.D.University of Pennsylvania
Andrea Liu is a theoretical physicist who studies mechanical phenomena in disordered solids and in living matter. Her research has been instrumental in the development of the field of jamming, a new way of looking at the origin and nature of rigidity in disordered solids. She discovered the jamming transition, a critical phase transition that marks the onset of rigidity in disordered packings. She has also resolved a longstanding question of how disordered solids flow by identifying ‘flow defects,’ or regions that are vulnerable to local rearrangement, analogous to dislocations in crystals.