Institute for Energy Technology, Kjeller, Norway and Department of Physics, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
Received: 30 June 2014
Revised: 21 July 2014
Published online: 22 September 2014
Soft condensed matter is characterized by the weak interactions between polyatomic constituents, by important thermal fluctuation effects, by mechanical softness and by a rich range of behaviours
Definition taken from the introduction to “Phase Transitions in Soft Condensed Matter”, edited by Tormod Riste and David Sherrington, Plenum Press, 1989 (New York), the proceedings of a NATO Advanced Study Institute held in Geilo, Norway in 1989. This may have been the first time the term “soft condensed matter” was used in an official capacity. http://www.softbio.ox.ac.uk/. Examples include complex liquids, colloids, granular materials, foams, polymers, gels and various biological materials. These materials thus share an important common feature in that predominant physical behaviors occur at an energy scale comparable with room temperature thermal energy.
© EDP Sciences, Springer-Verlag, 2014