Essentials of Soft Matter Science  book cover
1st Edition

Essentials of Soft Matter Science

ISBN 9781498773928
Published September 11, 2019 by CRC Press
268 Pages - 13 Color & 253 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Authored by world-leading physicists, this introductory textbook explores the basic principles of polymers, colloids, liquid crystals, wetting, and foams. It is a practical ‘toolbox’ for readers to acquire basic knowledge in the field and facilitate further reading and advanced courses. Undergraduate students in physics, biology, and the medical sciences will learn the basics of soft matter physics, in addition to scaling approaches in the spirit of the Nobel prize laureate in physics in 1991, Pierre-Gilles de Gennes, the inventor of soft matter physics and close collaborator to author Françoise Brochard-Wyart.


  • Accessible and compact approach
  • Contains interesting examples from everyday life (including the Paris Metro, a water spider, a gecko, and duck feathers)
  • Accompanied by additional exercises to enhance understanding available for download from the CRC Press website

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Introduction

Chapter 2. Soft Matter

Chapter 3. Phase Transitions

Chapter 4. Interfaces

Chapter 5. Liquid Crystals

Chapter 6. Surfactants

Chapter 7. Polymers

Chapter 8. Soft Matter in Everyday Life

Chapter 9. Soft Matter Technology

Chapter 10. Soft Matter in Biology

Chapter 11. Conclusion

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Françoise Brochard-Wyart is a theoretical physicist in soft matter physics and Professor at Sorbonne University and the Institut Curie, France. She studied at École Normale Supérieure de Cachan. After a PhD in Liquid Crystals under the supervision of Pierre-Gilles De Gennes, she studied polymer physics and wetting before moving to biophysics. She is a member of Institut Universitaire de France. She was awarded the Jean Ricard Prize from the French Physical Society in 1998.

Pierre Nassoy is an experimentalist physicist and a CNRS senior scientist at the Institut d’Optique d’Aquitaine in Bordeaux, France. He studied at Ecole Supérieure de Physique et Chimie Industrielles de Paris (ESPCI) and obtained an engineering diploma. He was junior CNRS scientist interested in cell biophysics at the Institut Curie until 2012.

Pierre-Henri Puech is an experimentalist (bio)physicist and an Inserm junior scientist at the Laboratoire Adhésion et Inflammation (LAI) in Marseille, France. He studied at Ecole Supérieure de Physique et Chimie Industrielles de Paris (ESPCI) and obtained an engineering diploma. His research interests center around cell biophysics, in particular in the context of mechanotransduction in T-cell recognition.


This is an excellent book to acquire the basic knowledge of soft matter science, not only for students in physics, biology, and the medical sciences, but also for students in chemistry and the material sciences. As a chemist, I enjoy very much with the text, which provides both wonderful examples from everyday life and elegant illustrations of cutting-edge researches in laboratory, all in a comprehensive and pedagogic way. The book is also to read for pleasure by scientists in other fields who wish to browse through an "impressionist" survey of soft matter science.

—  Dr. Min-Hui Li, CNRS, Chimie ParisTech, Paris Sciences and Letters University, France

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