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The author of this book takes you for a leasurely walk in the 'middle earth' that scientists call soft matter.Â He shows us how to look deeper than what we see at our own macroscopic length scale, but does not venture in the realm of molecules, atoms and fundamental particles. This fascinating exploration reveals what these materials have in common and which aspects of their behaviour make them so useful in our everyday life.Â From toys to trainers, the world we live in would be very different if we did not have plastic. From paint to toothpaste, what would we do without colloids? Understanding more about their physical properties will make you marvel at the soft things that surround us.
Roberto Piazza trained as a physicist at the school of Vittorio Degiorgio, and is now a professor of Condensed Matter Physics at the Politecnico di Milano, Italy, Associate Editor of the European Physical Journal E and coordinator of the European Space Agency's Topical Team for "Applications of colloids in microgravity" of the European Space Agency. He has made important contributions to research on nanoparticle suspensions, polymer and surfactant solutions and biological macromolecules. He is not only a gifted physicists, but equally well versed in history and literature.
Table of Contents
Overture: a special day
A life in suspense
A big cast of little characters
When it pays to be superficial
Colloidal Waterage, an award-winning firm
Rock and roll in suspense
Osmosis, the breath of a dispersed world
Colloidal Lego, matter made to measure
Softness without limit: fractal aggregates
Concrete: united by charge
Particles spreading waves: colloidal light and colors
A very particular particulate ink
Flying colloids: deceptive beauty of the aerosols
Freedom in chains
Long and disordered queues
A tale of cross-links and double-crosses
Necklaces for all tastes
Plastics: false solids with a biddable disposition
Entropy: disorder or freedom?
Elastic by chance
The secret of Mr Fantastic
Nightmares for Indiana Jones
Charged polymers: polyelectrolytes
Double-faced Janus molecules
Striding on water: the physics of Jesus bugs
Surfactants, a split personality
Soap bubbles: a paradise for kids and math nerds
Micelles: when surfactants find peace
As white as can be: the science of cleaning
A large and varied family
Questions of shape
A mischievous break: watch the label!
Small but mighty emulsions
Kepler, Bernal, and your greengrocer
Colloidal crystals: ordered by entropy
Glasses and gels: when hate and love yield similar results
The world is not (just) a ball
Sandcastles and shifting sands
Concludo, ergo sum
Proteins, a matter of molecular origami
Truck drivers and intelligence
Freemen of Flatland
A (protein-rich) lunch break
The Chieftain and his Shaman
The secret of simplicity
Message in a bottle
Double helices and strategies to pull them apart
The great contortionist
The queen bee and her workers
From Gladstone Gander to Donald Duck
The factory of dreams
Inner secrets of the Chieftain
Time dust or Stardust?
Back to the future
Weird word: soft matter from A to Z
Index of common things (or almost so)
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.