Matilda Backholm

I am an experimental physicist with an interest in soft matter physics, biophysics, and fluid dynamics. My main research is focused on developing new experimental techniques and theoretical frameworks for exploring the effects of tiny physical forces in small soft systems. I enjoy working with living organisms and other fragile soft samples with sizes in the range of 0.001 to 1 millimeter. The forces involved are often as small as nanonewtons, which compares to less than 0.1% of the weight of a grain of salt. During my PhD, I measured how difficult it is for a millimetric worm to bend its own body and what forces are required for it to swim and crawl in various environments. As a postdoc, I have studied the physics of water droplets moving on extremely water repellent, superhydrophobic surfaces, and explored the fascinating fluid dynamics of magnetic droplets.

I attained my BSc in Physics from the University of Helsinki (2009), my MSc in Nanoscience (2011) from Aarhus University, Denmark, and my PhD in Physics (2015) from McMaster University, Canada. Currently, I am working as an Academy of Finland Postdoctoral Researcher at the Department of Applied Physics at Aalto University.