About this book
This volume comprises the proceedings of a NATO Advanced Study In stitute held at Geilo, Norway, April 6 -16 1999. The ASI was the fifteenth in a series held biannually on topics related to cooperative phenomena and phase transitions, in this case applied to soft condensed matter and its configurations, dynamics and functionality. It addressed the current experimental and theoretical knowledge of the physical properties of soft condensed matter such as polymers, gels, complex fluids, colloids, granular materials and biomaterials. The main purpose of the lectures was to obtain basic understanding of important aspects in relating molecular configurations and dynamics to macroscopic properties and biological functionality. To our knowledge, the term Soft Condensed Matter was actually coined and used for the first time in 1989 at Geilo and some selected topics of soft matter were also given at Geilo in 1991, 1993 and 1995. A return to this subject 10 years after its instigation thus allowed a fresh look and a possibility for defining new directions for research.
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