Phase Transitions in Soft Condensed Matter

Phase Transitions in Soft Condensed Matter

This volume comprises the proceedings of a NATO Advanced Study Institute held in Geilo, Norway, between 4 - 14 April 1989. This Institute was the tenth in a series held at Geilo on the subject of phase transitions. It was the first to be concerned with the growing area of soft condensed matter, which is neither ordinary solids nor ordinary liquids, but somewhere in between. The Institute brought together many lecturers, students and active researchers in the field from a wide range of NATO and some non-NATO countries, with financial support principally from the NATO Scientific Affairs Division but also from Institutt for energiteknikk, the Nor wegian Research Council for Science and the Humanities (NAVF), The Nordic Institute for Theoretical Atomic Physics (NORDITA), the Norwegian Physical Society and VISTA, a reserach cooperation between the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters and Den norske stats oljeselskap a.s (STATOIL). The organizing committee would like to thank all these contributors for their help in promoting an exciting and rewarding meeting, and in doing so are confident that they echo the appreciation also of all the participants. 50ft condensed matter is characterized by weak interactions between polyatomic constituents, by important·thermal fluctuations effects, by mechanical softness and by a rich range of behaviours. The main emphasis at this Institute was on the fundamental collective physics, but prepar ation techniques and industrial applications were also considered.

Soft Condensed Matter: Configurations, Dynamics and Functionality

Soft Condensed Matter: Configurations, Dynamics and Functionality

The term `soft condensed matter' encompasses a wide range of substances which are neither ordinary solids nor ordinary liquids. They do have vestigial liquid and solid properties, but their character is much more complex and subtle. Systems range from foams and complex fluids to granular materials and biomaterials (proteins, DNA, membranes). The structural states they adopt are driven by subtle competition between intermolecular interaction energies and entropic forces, both of which are often close to thermal energies at room temperature. Configurations and their dynamic evolution are significant determinants of a wide variety of mesoscopic and microscopic properties. The book reviews both the language needed to discuss such systems, as well as basic questions about such phenomena as competing ground states, nonlinear feedback, and slow dynamics. The approach is pedagogical and tutorial, while the work presented is fully up to date. The level is appropriate to graduate researchers, either moving into the field or already active in it.

Soft Condensed Matter

Soft Condensed Matter

This text offers an introduction to the properties and behaviour of soft matter. It begins with a treatment of the underlying principles, then discusses how the properties of certain substances and systems are treated within this framework.

Geometry and Phase Transitions in Colloids and Polymers

Geometry and Phase Transitions in Colloids and Polymers

This monograph represents an extension of the author''s original PhD thesis and includes a more thorough discussion on the concepts and mathematics behind his research works on the foam model, as applied to studying issues of phase stability and elasticity for various non-closed packed structures found in fuzzy and colloidal crystals, as well as on a renormalization-group analysis regarding the critical behavior of loop polymers upon which topological constraints are imposed. The common thread behind these two research works is their demonstration of the importance and effectiveness of utilizing geometrical and topological concepts for modeling and understanding soft systems undergoing phase transitions.

Physics of Biomaterials: Fluctuations, Selfassembly and Evolution

Physics of Biomaterials: Fluctuations, Selfassembly and Evolution

Recent years have seen a growing interest in and activity at the interface between physics and biology, with the realization that both subjects have a great deal to learn from and to teach to one another. A particularly promising aspect of this interface concerns the area of cooperative phenomena and phase transitions. The present book addresses both the structure and motion of biological materials and the increasingly complex behaviour that arises out of interactions in large systems, giving rise to self organization, adaptation, selection and evolution: concepts of interest not only to biology and living systems but also within condensed matter physics. The approach adopted by Physics of Biomaterials: Fluctuations, Self Assembly and Evolution is tutorial, but the book is fully up to date with the latest research. Written at a level appropriate to graduate researchers, preferably with a background either in condensed matter physics or theoretical or physically-oriented experimental biology.

Physics Briefs

Physikalische Berichte

Physics Briefs


Liquid Crystals

Experimental Study of Physical Properties and Phase Transitions

Liquid Crystals

This 2001 book provides hands-on details of several important techniques for the study of liquid crystals.

Phase Transitions in Surface Films 2

[proceedings of the NATO Advanced Study Institute and International Course on Phase Transitions in Surface Films, Held June 19-20, 1990, in Erice, Sicily, Italy]

Phase Transitions in Surface Films 2


Observation, Prediction and Simulation of Phase Transitions in Complex Fluids

Observation, Prediction and Simulation of Phase Transitions in Complex Fluids

Observation, Prediction and Simulation of Phase Transitions in Complex Fluids presents an overview of the phase transitions that occur in a variety of soft-matter systems: colloidal suspensions of spherical or rod-like particles and their mixtures, directed polymers and polymer blends, colloid--polymer mixtures, and liquid-forming mesogens. This modern and fascinating branch of condensed matter physics is presented from three complementary viewpoints. The first section, written by experimentalists, emphasises the observation of basic phenomena (by light scattering, for example). The second section, written by theoreticians, focuses on the necessary theoretical tools (density functional theory, path integrals, free energy expansions). The third section is devoted to the results of modern simulation techniques (Gibbs ensemble, free energy calculations, configurational bias Monte Carlo). The interplay between the disciplines is clearly illustrated. For all those interested in modern research in equilibrium statistical mechanics.

Soft Condensed Matter Physics in Molecular and Cell Biology

Soft Condensed Matter Physics in Molecular and Cell Biology

Soft condensed matter physics, which emerged as a distinct branch of physics in the 1990s, studies complex fluids: liquids in which structures with length scale between the molecular and the macroscopic exist. Polymers, liquid crystals, surfactant solutions, and colloids fall into this category. Physicists deal with properties of soft matter systems that are generic and largely independent of chemical details. They are especially fascinated by the way soft matter systems can harness Brownian motion to self-assemble into higher-order structures. Exploring the generic properties of soft matter offers insights into many fundamental questions that cut across a number of disciplines. Although many of these apply to materials and industrial applications, the focus of this volume is on their applications in molecular and cell biology based on the realization that biology is soft matter come alive. The chapters in Soft Condensed Matter Physics in Molecular and Cell Biology originated as lectures in the NATO Advanced Science Institute (ASI) and Scottish Universities Summer Schools in Physics with the same name; they represent the thinking of seventeen experts operating at the cutting edge of their respective fields. The book provides a thorough grounding in the fundamental physics of soft matter and then explores its application with regard to the three important classes of biomacromolecules: proteins, DNA, and lipids, as well as to aspects of the biology of cells. The final section of the book considers experimental techniques, covering single molecule force spectroscopy of proteins, the use of optical tweezers, along with X-ray, neutron, and light scattering from solutions. While this work presents fundamentals that make it a suitable text for graduate students in physics, it also offers valuable insights for established soft condensed matter physicists seeking to contribute to biology, and for biologists wanting to understand what the latest thinking in soft matter physics may be able to contribute to their discipline.