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........ published in NEWSLETTER # 47

by Professor S.H. Chen, MIT, Cambridge/MA (U.S.A.)

During the last decade, various powerful experimental tools have been developed such as small angle x_ray and neutron scattering, x_ray and neutron reflection from interfaces, neutron spin_echo spectroscopy and quasi_elastic multiple light scattering (diffuse_wave spectroscopy) and large scale computer simulations. Due to the rapid progress brought about by these techniques, one witnesses a resurgence of interest in the physico_chemical properties of Colloidal solutions and Surfactants and Macromolecules in Solution. Although these disciplines have a long history, they are at present rapidly transforming into a new interdisciplinary research area generally known as Complex Liquids or Soft Condensed Matter Physics, names that reflect the considerable involvement of chemical and condensed matter physicists. The types of systems in Complex liquids that are most scientifically interesting and relevant in technological applications are: polymer latex particles, dense protein solutions, semi_ dilute polymer solutions and melts, gels and micellar solutions and microemulsions. The most significant theoretical progress in the last several years has been the formulation of coherent statistical mechanics and thermodynamic theories that account for, at least semi_quantitatively, diverse phenomena covering phase behavior and transport properties of these complex systems. This NATO Advanced Study Institute on Structure and Dynamics of Supramaolecular Aggregates and Strongly Interacting Colloids was organized to discuss, in a pedagogical way, these new developments, both from a theoretical and experimental point of view.

The lecture notes that are compiled in this volume (NATO ASI SERIES C369) are organized into five major parts. PartI deals with Strongly Interacting Colloidal Systems and Polymers; PartII is devoted to Microemulsion Systems; PartIII concerns the properties of Micellar Solutions; PartIV contains various Experimental Techniques and their data analyses, including powerful large scale simulations and the Invited Posters are included in Part V. With the exception of PartV, the tutorial lectures are always collected at the beginning of each section to serve as an introduction to the topic, followed by recent advances in the field. This collection of lectures represents state_of_the_art in the growing field of complex liquids, and is suitable as a text book for graduate courses dealing with physics and chemistry of soft matter.
Reference books: B64, B215, C61, C303, C324, C369, E67, E68, E138, E190

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