Yue Hu, an associate professor of physics at Wellesley College, specializes in complex fluids. Her research combines experimental, theoretical, and computer simulation methods to study the electrical and rheological properties of liquid suspensions of small particles. She has published articles in many journals, including the Journal of Chemical Physics and Physical Review B.
The purpose of Hu’s Radcliffe project is to understand the fundamental mechanism responsible for electrorheology (ER), which is the study of how the flow of some fluids are altered when subjected to electric fields. She hopes to find material properties of ER fluids that maximize ER effects. Such “smart” fluids, which change from liquid to a viscous solid, may have practical applications. During her fellowship year, Hu plans to propose a new theoretical model that takes into account the effect of flow-modified permittivity on ER. Working independently and with a Harvard University–based team, she will use computer simulation and conduct laboratory experiments to test her model.
After earning a BS from Peking University, Hu came to the US through the China-US physics examination and application program. Her PhD in experimental low-temperature physics is from Cornell University. She has been awarded research grants from the National Science Foundation and the US Department of Energy. In the 1990s, she was named Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor of Physics at Wellesley where she received a Brachman Hoffman Fellowship.