Soft Condensed Matter is a general term given to materials that are easily deformed or structurally altered due to thermal fluctuations or weak mechanical stresses. The topic includes colloids, polymers, gels, surfactants solutions, liquid crystals, surface forces and biological materials. Students will be introduced to soft matter and learn the fundamentals of colloid science, surface forces, polymers and liquid crystals. The topic is necessarily multidisciplinary and will include many examples of everyday phenomena and will be of interest to chemists, engineers and biologists as well as physics students.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Explain the significance of soft condensed matter both scientifically and in the wider community.
- Explain material properties using a fundamental knowledge of Colloid and Interface Science
- Describe polymer solutions using the fundamental basic physics
- Demonstrate a basic knowledge of the physics of liquid crystal systems
- Recognize everyday examples of soft matter systems and use material learned in the course to understand the behavior of such systems
Indicative AssessmentAssessment will be based on:
- Exam (45%, LO 1-5)
- Laboratory work (30%, LO1-5)
- Assignments (25%, LO 1-5)
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WorkloadThree lectures per week and 8 x 3 hour laboratory classes
Requisite and Incompatibility
Prescribed TextsSoft Condensed Matter, Richard A. L. Jones, Oxford University Press, ISBN 019 850589 2
Soft Matter Physics an Introduction, Maurice Klemen & Oleg D. Lavrentovich, Springer, ISBN 0-387-95267-5
Intermolecular and Surface Forces, Israelachvili
Assumed KnowledgeStudents should have completed mathematics in high school at a high level.
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- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
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