Physics of Soft and Biological Matter 1 WS 2013/2014

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Lecture (2 SWS) and Tutorials (every 2nd week)
Prof. Dr. Christian Holm and Prof. Dr. Clemens Bechinger (Lecture); Dr. Jens Smiatek (Tutorials)
Course language
Location and Time
October 17th, 2013 - February 6th, 2014
Lecture: Thu, 14:00 - 15:30 (Seminar room ICP 1.079, Allmandring 3)
Tutorials: tba.
B. Sc. 5. Semester or Master


The lecture intends to give an overview about the physics behind soft and biological matter which has been established as a novel interdisciplinary research field over the last decades. Soft matter typically includes easily deformable objects like colloids, polymers/polyelectrolytes, membranes, liquid crystals as well as vesicles and micelles. Most soft matter effects are driven by electrostatic, van-der-Waals, solute-solvent as well as entropic interactions. Typical phenomena include order-disorder phase transitions or aggregation behavior. The lecture will focus on the physical principles behind the observed effects. In addition, fundamental principles and theories like the DLVO- and the Poisson-Boltzmann theory will be introduced. The interdisciplinary character of this research field is reflected by the presentation of experimental and theoretical work in addition to numerical simulation results.

Course Material

Date Subject Lecturer
17.10.2013 Motivation and historical overview Bechinger
24.10.2013 Many-particle systems: description of structural properties Holm
31.10.2013 Pair interactions between dispersed particles Bechinger
07.11.2013 Phase transitions: general introduction Holm
14.11.2013 Poisson-Boltzmann theory Holm
21.11.2013 Introduction to polymer physics Holm
28.11.2013 Polyelectrolytes Holm
05.12.2013 Experimental techniques Bechinger
12.12.2013 Phase transitions in 2D systems Bechinger, Holm
19.12.2013 Xmas lecture: Soft matter food science Bechinger, Holm
09.01.2014 Depletion interactions I Bechinger
16.01.2014 Depletion interactions II Holm
23.01.2014 tba. Bechinger
30.01.2014 Biological soft matter Holm
06.02.2014 Lab tour Bechinger