FY8203 - Soft Condensed Matter


Lessons are not given in the academic year 2020/2021

Course content

The course is given every other year, next time spring 2022. The physics of soft condensed matter involves materials that are easily deformable by externally applied stresses, by electric or magnetic fields, or simply by thermal fluctuations, The “level of description” for such complex materials typically starts at the nano scale, i.e. at scales much larger than atomic or molecular scales, and the structure and dynamics at the nano scale determine macroscopic physical properties at the human scale. One overall goal of research into this growing field of science is thus to probe and understand the relationship between nano scale and macro scale physics. The materials under study include both natural, synthetic and biological materials, and the broad range of research interests range from fundamental physics to technological applications, from basic materials questions to problems related to oil and gas technology cosmetics, household products, agriculture, food, design of nano-structured materials or surfaces, biological systems and materials, etc. Themes of focus are decided before semesterstart and depends on for example the scientific areas of interest for participating students, and which international experts are available one given semester.
The following general and popularized literature may be recommended as background:
0) wikipedia

Learning outcome

The student is expected to obtain a theoretical understanding of the physics of soft condensed matter, from nanoparticles and interactions on the nanoscale to soft materials dynamics and stability on the macro scale. Further, obtain a theoretical and partly practical insight into parts of some experimental techniques that are relevant for studies of soft material physics, like for example microscopy, scattering techniques (light, X-ray. neutron), rheometry, microfluidics, nanofluidics and special purpose table-top" eksperiments.

Learning methods and activities

Guided self study, lectures given by the course professors and by invited international experts, colloquia given by students, groupwork than can be laboratory based, written home exam.

Compulsory assignments

  • Study groups by students

Further on evaluation

The final grade is based on portfolio assessment. The portfolio includes written exam and report. The evaluation of the different parts is given in %-points, while the entire portfolio is given passed or not passed. For a re-take of an examination, all assessments in the portfolio must be re-taken.

Specific conditions

Exam registration requires that class registration is approved in the same semester. Compulsory activities from previous semester may be approved by the department.

Course materials

The course material will be decided well before semester start, and will in addition to recently published scientific papers, be collected from for example:

The course material will be decided well before semester start, and will in addition to recently published scientific papers, be collected from for example:
“Essentials of Soft Matter Science”, Francoise Brochard-Wyart, Pierre Nassoy, Pierre-Henri Puech, CRC Press, 2019
"Soft Matter Physics", Masao Doi, Ocford University Press 2014
“Nanofluidics and Microfluidics”, Shaurya Prakash and Junghoon Yeom, William Andrew, 2014
"Fundamentals of Soft Matter Science", Linda S. Hirst, CRC Press 2012
"Structured Fluids: Polymers, Colloids, Surfactants", Thomas A. Witten, Oxford University Press, 2004
“Introduction to Microfluidics”, Patrick Tabeling, Oxford, 2010

More on the course

Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Doctoral degree level



Language of instruction: English, Norwegian

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Materials Science and Engineering
  • Energy- and Environmental Physics
  • Polymer Physics
  • Thermodynamics
  • Materials Science and Solid State Physics
  • Biophysics
  • Petroleum Engineering
  • Applied Mechanics - Fluid Mechanics
  • Solid State Physics
  • Biology
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Chemistry and processing
Contact information

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Physics



  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

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