What is Soft matter: Definition and 13 Discussions

Soft matter or soft condensed matter is a subfield of condensed matter comprising a variety of physical systems that are deformed or structurally altered by thermal or mechanical stress of the magnitude of thermal fluctuations. They include liquids, colloids, polymers, foams, gels, granular materials, liquid crystals, pillows, flesh, and a number of biological materials. These materials share an important common feature in that predominant physical behaviors occur at an energy scale comparable with room temperature thermal energy. At these temperatures, quantum aspects are generally unimportant.
Pierre-Gilles de Gennes, who has been called the "founding father of soft matter," received the Nobel Prize in physics in 1991 for discovering that methods developed for studying order phenomena in simple systems can be generalized to the more complex cases found in soft matter, in particular, to the behaviors of liquid crystals and polymers.

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  1. C

    Courses Graduate level Mathematics courses of interest for Biological Physics

    I am an incoming graduate student in Theoretical Physics at Universiteit Utrecht, and I struggle to make a choice for one of my mathematical electives. I hope someone can help me out. My main interests lie in the fields of Statistical Physics, phase transitions and collective and critical...
  2. JD_PM

    I Atomic Force Microscopy in hard and soft matter physics

    I am studying the modes of operation of the Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM). I know there are three: contact, tapping and non-contact. Are they really used in both hard and soft matter physics? If so, how are the difficulties/limitations that they present overcome?
  3. AD MCFC

    A The Future of "Soft Matter Physics"

    Hi all, I am trying to learn more about this field. Whether you work or have worked in this area or not, I would like to know where Soft Matter is going in terms of theory and applications. Thanks, A.D. *I apologize in advance if there are already many threads specifically addressing this...
  4. alan

    Range in solid surface for liquid-liquid phase separation

    I am investigating the nucleation on solid surface during liquid-liquid phase separation, I know the free energy change is and I don't know if it is correct to get Can someone calculate it to have a check?
  5. alan

    Temperature and volume fraction of a liquid mixture

    I have known the interaction parameter of a certain liquid mixture which has the phase behaviour can be described by the lattice model. , is it possible for us to know the temperature at the critical point? Besides, if we know the temperature at the critical point, can the volume fraction of...
  6. alan

    Isotropic material fitted by Ornstein-Zernike form

    I have known what Ornstein-Zernike equation is. I try to plug in the form as follow to the isotropic materials: Still, I cannot show the pair correlation function as follow. Can anyone know what I have missed?
  7. alan

    Derive approximate expression by regular solution theory

    The question is about to derive an approximate expression by regular solution theory, It is difficult for me to find relevant source on this question. However, the question to me is so vague that I do not know how to answer. What I have tried is to search what the interaction parameter is...
  8. S

    Physics Outlook after PhD in computational soft-matter physics

    Hey everybody, I am at the end of my Master's degree (Europe) and I am considering doing a PhD. My master thesis topic was mostly about a simulation in quantum optics. I find the field of quantum optics interesting and quantum physics in general fascinating, but it's definitely not where I want...
  9. D

    How to count coordination number in experiments?

    We all know the coordination number is an important characteristic of a system consisting of many particles. But in experiments,except CT,do we have any easier and cheaper way to know it? Thanks for help.
  10. W

    Soft matter vs. cosmology/particle physics

    Hello everybody! I'm currently in the third semester of my Masters' and still haven't decided which direction to specialize in. So far, I have been doing almost exclusively theoretical courses (particle physics and QFT, GR, advanced stat. mech) with a computational physics lab class being the...
  11. A

    If I can spare one or two hours daily (how to improve my higher math skills)

    Question: If I can spare one or two hours daily for my own, what would you suggest to improve my math maturity? I am referring to higher math, not computational math. Here is my little background: I am a HS calculus teacher by profession. Since I picked up graduate math study one year ago, I...
  12. 1

    Applying condensed matter physics/ soft matter physics to medicine

    What are some ways that people are applying condensed matter physics/ soft matter physics to optimize some treatments in medicine, e.g. in magnetic hypothermia?