Manchester, United Kingdom

Soft Matter and Liquid Crystals

Language: English Studies in English
University website: www.manchester.ac.uk
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Liquid
A liquid is a nearly incompressible fluid that conforms to the shape of its container but retains a (nearly) constant volume independent of pressure. As such, it is one of the four fundamental states of matter (the others being solid, gas, and plasma), and is the only state with a definite volume but no fixed shape. A liquid is made up of tiny vibrating particles of matter, such as atoms, held together by intermolecular bonds. Water is, by far, the most common liquid on Earth. Like a gas, a liquid is able to flow and take the shape of a container. Most liquids resist compression, although others can be compressed. Unlike a gas, a liquid does not disperse to fill every space of a container, and maintains a fairly constant density. A distinctive property of the liquid state is surface tension, leading to wetting phenomena.
Matter
In the classical physics observed in everyday life, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All everyday objects that we can touch are ultimately composed of atoms, which are made up of interacting subatomic particles, and in everyday as well as scientific usage, "matter" generally includes atoms and anything made up of these, and any particles (or combination of particles) that act as if they have both rest mass and volume. However it does not include massless particles such as photons, or other energy phenomena or waves such as light or sound. Matter exists in various states (also known as phases). These include classical everyday phases such as solid, liquid, and gas - for example water exists as ice, liquid water, and gaseous steam - but other states are possible, including plasma, Bose–Einstein condensates, fermionic condensates, and quark–gluon plasma.
Soft Matter
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, 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.
Matter
Matter is substance that may be perceived through the medium of the senses. It has form, colour, weight, taste, smell; is hard or soft, moveable, or immoveable. Those who are acquainted with the principles of Natural Philosophy, will perceive that some of these properties are inherent in matter, and that others depend on circumstances. The human body is a material substance; that is, it has the properties of matter—so has a stone or a rock.
Elizabeth Stryker Ricord, Elements of the Philosophy of Mind: Applied to the Development of Thought (1840)
Matter
Of course, we must avoid postulating a new element for each new phenomenon. But an equally serious mistake is to admit into the theory only those elements which can now be observed. For the purpose of a theory is not only to correlate the results of observations that we already know how to make, but also to suggest the need for new kinds of observations and to predict their results. In fact, the better a theory is able to suggest the need for new kinds of observations and to predict their results correctly, the more confidence we have that this theory is likely to be good representation of the actual properties of matter and not simply an empirical system especially chosen in such a way as to correlate a group of already known facts.
David Bohm, "A Suggested Interpretation of the Quantum Theory in Terms of 'Hidden' Variables," (January 15 1952). Physical Review 35 (2): 189.
Matter
Natural science served as - if we overlook the hasty identification of mind and matter which had its origin in natural science - as a shining and fruitful example to psychology.
Hermann Ebbinghaus, Psychology: An elementary textbook (1908)
Privacy Policy