Course objectives: Matter exists in four phases-solid, liquid, gas and plasma. However, often the distinction is not so simple and wide ranges of systems seem to fall between the solid and liquid phase! For example, look at our skin; should we consider it as solid, or liquid? The screen of our smartphone and other similar display units; are they solid or liquid? They all fall under the domain of soft matter. In this course of Soft Matter Physics, we will study some of the physical principles governing the characteristic behavior of different soft matter systems. This course will equip you with the fundamentals of soft matter, and also fulfil your immediate research needs in relevant fields.
Contents: Introduction to Soft Matter: Forces, energies and timescales in soft matter; Brownian motion and thermal fluctuations; Colloids: A single colloidal particle in a liquid, forces between colloidal particles, stability and phase behaviour of colloids; Polymers: various models for polymer, polymer solutions, scaling, biopolymers; Liquid crystals: liquid crystal phases and transition.
1. Soft Condensed Matter by R.A.L. Jones, Oxford University Press, (2002).
2. Soft Matter Physics by M. Doi, Oxford University Press (2013).
3. Principles of Condensed Matter Physics by P. M. Chaikin and T. C. Lubensky, Cambridge University Press (2002).
4. Scaling Concepts in Polymer Physics by PG de Gennes, Cornell University Press (1979).