Xin Du

Xin Du, PhD

  • Assistant Professor
Media Expertise:
  • Science & Environment

Affiliated Programs


  • PhD, Physics (2016)
    Emory University (GA)
  • B.S., Physics (2010)
    Nanjing University (CN)

About Me

I am deeply committed to providing excellent undergraduate physics education with innovative teaching approaches and fostering a research program on Soft Matter Physics involving undergraduate researchers. 

My primary teaching goal is to help students learn how to think like a physicist. You would never learn how to think without thinking. So, I believe the more students are engaged in classroom activities, the better they will learn. In my physics class, I hold hand-on activities, group discussions to solve problems, and share the current technology or science development which relate physics principles with real world applications. 

In my physics classes, students will learn problem-solving skills, communication with accurate scientific language, quantitative skills, computational skills, laboratorial skills that can apply to their future career in physics as well as engineering or health science.

Research Interests

Soft materials, such as granular media, colloids, emulsions, and foams, are the materials with both solid-like and liquid-like properties. They are very common in medical and industrial applications. For example, sand, blood flow, collective cells, cosmetics, petroleum, and soft robotics like an artery stent are made of soft materials.

In these systems, understanding and controlling their dynamic and structural properties, as well as their long-term evolution and stability, are of fundamental importance. My research interest is studying the properties of soft materials utilizing microfluidic techniques, microscopy and image analysis.


  • Du, X and Weeks, E. R., (2024) "Rearrangements during slow compression of a jammed two-dimensional emulsion," Phys. Rev. E 109, 034605 
  • Du, X and Weeks, E. R., (2016) "Energy barriers, entropy barriers, and non-Arrhenius behavior in a minimal glassy model," Phys. Rev. E. 93, 062613 


  • Widener Hosts AAPT Members for Fall Meeting, Physics Faculty Share Research

    Widener University’s Physics Department hosted members the Southeast Pennsylvania Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) on campus for their fall 2023 meeting. 

    Organized by Assistant Professor of Physics Alice Du, the event was full of guest speakers and presentations covering topics such as student engagement, professional development for teachers, and hot topics in the physics industry. Martin Melhus, assistant professor of physics, presented “Numerical Integration of Trajectories at a Student Level.”

    The AAPT hosted an additional event in collaboration with the Delaware Valley Amateur Astronomers in which Paul Baker, assistant professor of physics, shared work he completed as a member of the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav) and the International Pulsar Timing Array (IPTA). 

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