PCC-20806 Soft Matter


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Course coordinator(s)prof. dr. ir. J van der Gucht
dr. RJ de Vries
Lecturer(s)prof. dr. ir. J van der Gucht
MM van Galen
dr. RJ de Vries
IM Bos
ing. RG Fokkink
DW Brake
Examiner(s)prof. dr. ir. J van der Gucht

Language of instruction:

Dutch and/or English

Assumed knowledge on:

PCC-22306 Driving Forces in Chemistry, Physics and Biology.

Continuation courses:

PCC-31806 Advanced Soft Matter .


This is an introductory course on soft matter. The following topics are treated: thermal motion and molecular forces, surface forces, particles, polymers, self-assembly, phase behavior, colloidal stability and rheology.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- define the concepts of soft matter as presented in the course text and lectures, and understand the quantitative expression of these concepts in terms of formulas (main concepts: colloidal interaction forces, colloidal stability, self-assembly, viscosity and visco-elasticity of colloidal systems);
- recognize concepts of soft matter in concrete practical cases, and discuss their application, both qualitatively and quantitatively, to such cases;
- handle the formulas in the course text in mathematically correct ways, and use them to calculate physical quantities, with due attention to units and dimensions;
- solve theoretical problems dealing with the various applications of soft matter, with use of a formula compendium;
- carry out experiments on soft matter phenomena in model systems following a given protocol, write a short laboratory report on such experiments, with a critical discussion of experimental findings, and a quantitative analysis using the concepts and formulas presented in the course text and lectures.


- lectures;
- laboratory work (compulsory);
- tutorials and self-study.


The examination is based on:
- a written exam with open questions (67%, minimum mark 5.5);
- the quality of practical work (33%, minimum mark 5.5).
Interim marks are valid for six years.


Syllabus Soft Matter (available in the WUR-shop).

Compulsory for: BMLMolecular Life SciencesBSc5MO
Restricted Optional for: BBTBiotechnologyBSc5MO