Geilo School: Soft Matter Confinement - From Biology to Physics
The objective of this School is to bring together researchers with various interests and background including theoretical physicists, soft condensed matter experimentalists, biological physicists and molecular biologists to learn about areas where synergism between modern physics and biology may be most fruitfully applied to the study of various aspects of confinement in soft matter.
As material systems are made smaller, changes occur which may affect properties. The number of atoms close to surfaces increases relative to the numbers that are truly in the bulk. At the same time, thermodynamics is no longer controlled by the laws of large numbers, so dynamical fluctuations often cannot be viewed as Gaussian. Liquids flowing through narrow tubes exhibit laminar flow and do not mix in the same way as fluids in macroscopic containers. In many complex fluids the relative importance of various forces depends on system size so that in biological cells, for example, dissipative forces dominate inertial forces. These and other distinctions between the properties of truly macroscopic systems and those whose spatial dimensions are constrained will be explored at this School, with special emphasis on effects which occur in soft matter, where thermal and cohesive forces are of similar magnitude.