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Syllabus for

Academic year
TIF015 - Soft matter physics
Owner: TTFYA
5,0 Credits (ECTS 7,5)
Grading: TH - Five, Four, Three, Not passed
Level: D
Department: 16 - PHYSICS

Teaching language: English

Course module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 No Sp
0105 Examination 5,0 c Grading: TH   5,0 c   23 Oct 2006 pm M,  24 Aug 2007 am V

In programs



Professor  Aleksandar Matic
Professor  Per Jacobsson


For single subject courses within Chalmers programmes the same eligibility requirements apply, as to the programme(s) that the course is part of.

Course specific prerequisites

The intended participants in the course is 4th year students in physics, master students (physics/chemistry/material science) and graduate students in physics, chemistry and materials science. The students are expected to have taken elementary courses in solid-state physics or solid-state chemistry and thermodynamics, with statistical physics/statistical mechanics, or equivalent.


Soft condensed matter is a rapidly expanding discipline in the interface between physics, chemistry and chemical engineering, often including biophysics and biochemistry. The area encompasses materials such as glasses, colloids, polymers, gels and biological macromolecules (e.g. proteins). These materials present a vast number of fundamental, as well as technological, challenges since the materials are often disordered, fragile and with low contrast between phases and therefore difficult to treat with the standard tools, both theoretical and experimental, of traditional solid state physics.

The course provides core competence for students aiming at either a career in science or in R&D-industry. It is also a base for more specialised courses in soft matter physics and chemistry in the masters and graduate programs, e.g. Amorphous materials, Self-assembly structures, Liquid-Crystals or Colloidal Chemistry.


The aim of this course is to provide a foundation for understanding the properties and behaviour of soft matter.


The course focuses on the structure and dynamics of soft matter, universal behaviour, scaling concepts, phase transitions and transport properties. The main covered topics:
- An overview of soft materials (polymers, gels, colloids, etc)
- Concepts of soft matter
- Length and time scales for structure and dynamics of soft matter
- Phase transitions
- Experimental tools
- Computational tools


The course is based on a series of lectures. In the lectures exercises and demonstrations are integrated. In addition to the lectures there will be seminars given by experts in soft matter science. The course encompasses 30 lecture hours and 5 seminars (1h). The seminars will be given by different experts within the field of soft condensed matter both from academia and industrial R&D. The seminars, each covering a specific topic, form the basis for a minor project work. To each project work 2h of tutorials are assigned.


- Soft Condensed Matter, R. A. L. Jones, Oxford University Press
- Complementary material handed out during lectures (excerpts from other books, research articles etc)


Written project report and a written exam at the end of the course.

Page manager Published: Thu 03 Nov 2022.