## Introduction to the Theory of Soft Matter: From Ideal Gases to Liquid CrystalsThis book presents the theory of soft matter to students at the advanced undergraduate or beginning graduate level. It provides a basic introduction to theoretical physics as applied to soft matter, explaining the concepts of symmetry, broken symmetry, and order parameters; phases and phase transitions; mean-field theory; and the mathematics of variational calculus and tensors. It is written in an informal, conversational style, which is accessible to students from a diverse range of backgrounds. The book begins with a simple “toy model” to demonstrate the physical significance of free energy. It then introduces two standard theories of phase transitions—the Ising model for ferromagnetism and van der Waals theory of gases and liquids—and uses them to illustrate principles of statistical mechanics. From those examples, it moves on to discuss order, disorder, and broken symmetry in many states of matter, and to explain the theoretical methods that are used to model the phenomena. It concludes with a chapter on liquid crystals, which brings together all of these physical and mathematical concepts. The book is accompanied online by a set of “interactive figures”—some allow readers to change parameters and see what happens to a graph, some allow readers to rotate a plot or other graphics in 3D, and some do both. These interactive figures help students to develop their intuition for the physical meaning of equations. This book will prepare advanced undergraduate or early graduate students to go into more advanced theoretical studies. It will also equip students going into experimental soft matter science to be fully conversant with the theoretical aspects and have effective collaborations with theorists. |

### What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

### Contents

1 | |

6 | |

3 Gases and Liquids | 25 |

4 Landau Theory | 51 |

Variational Calculus | 63 |

6 Field Theory for Nonuniform Systems | 73 |

### Other editions - View all

Introduction to the Theory of Soft Matter: From Ideal Gases to Liquid Crystals Jonathan V. Selinger No preview available - 2015 |

Introduction to the Theory of Soft Matter: From Ideal Gases to Liquid Crystals Jonathan V. Selinger No preview available - 2016 |

### Common terms and phrases

ˆn(r alignment applied field atoms average behavior calculate chiral coefficient components coordinate system critical exponent critical point defect degrees of freedom depends director field dot product elastic entropy equation example first-order free energy density gas phase Gibbs free energy gradient Hence ideal gas integral Interactive version interface Ising model isotropic isotropic phase isotropic-nematic transition Landau theory Landau-de Gennes lattice Levi-Civita symbol liquid crystal liquid phase macrostate magnetic field magnitude Maier-Saupe matrix mean-field theory metastable minimizes the free minimum molecular molecules neighbors nematic order parameter nematic phase NkBT nucleation order parameter order parameter field orientational order particles partition function phase diagram phase transition physical plot polar phase position power series pressure problem pseudovector rods rotation scalar shear shown in Fig shows Soft Matter solution spins symmetry tensor topological charge vector viscosity volume per molecule Waals theory zero