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Fragile Objects

Soft Matter, Hard Science, and the Thrill of Discovery

  • Authors
  • Pierre-Gilles de Gennes
  • Jacques Badoz

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvi
  2. Soft Matter

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Pierre-Gilles de Gennes, Jacques Badoz
      Pages 3-6
    3. Pierre-Gilles de Gennes, Jacques Badoz
      Pages 7-17
    4. Pierre-Gilles de Gennes, Jacques Badoz
      Pages 18-28
    5. Pierre-Gilles de Gennes, Jacques Badoz
      Pages 29-39
    6. Pierre-Gilles de Gennes, Jacques Badoz
      Pages 40-51
    7. Pierre-Gilles de Gennes, Jacques Badoz
      Pages 52-69
    8. Pierre-Gilles de Gennes, Jacques Badoz
      Pages 70-88
    9. Pierre-Gilles de Gennes, Jacques Badoz
      Pages 89-91
  3. Research

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 93-93
    2. Pierre-Gilles de Gennes, Jacques Badoz
      Pages 95-107
    3. Pierre-Gilles de Gennes, Jacques Badoz
      Pages 108-121
    4. Pierre-Gilles de Gennes, Jacques Badoz
      Pages 122-129
    5. Pierre-Gilles de Gennes, Jacques Badoz
      Pages 130-140
  4. Education

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 141-141
    2. Pierre-Gilles de Gennes, Jacques Badoz
      Pages 143-157
    3. Pierre-Gilles de Gennes, Jacques Badoz
      Pages 158-165
    4. Pierre-Gilles de Gennes, Jacques Badoz
      Pages 166-171
    5. Pierre-Gilles de Gennes, Jacques Badoz
      Pages 172-175
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 177-189

About this book

Introduction

Over the past few decades we have learned a great deal about the behavior of such materials as liquid crystals, emulsions and colloids, polymers, and complex molecules. These materials, called "soft matter" ("matière fragile" in French), have neither the rigid structure and crystalline symmetry of a solid nor the uniformity and disorder of a fluid or a gas. They have unusual and fascinating properties: some change their viscosity at our beck and call; others form layers of two-dimensional liquids; some are polarized, their molecules all oriented in the same direction and turning in unison at our command; others make up the foams, bubbles, waxes, gums, and many other items we take for granted every day. De Gennes, one of the world's leading experts on these strange forms of matter, here addresses topics ranging from soft-matter physics - the formation of rubber, the nature and uses of gum arabic, the wetting and de-wetting of surfaces, and the mysterious properties of bubbles and foams - to the activities of science: the role of individual or team work, the relation of discovery to correction, and the interplay of conscience and knowledge. In the best tradition of science writing, this book teaches us about both our world and ourselves.

Keywords

colloid crystal polymer soft matter structure

Bibliographic information