A Soft Matter Journey: Colloids, Polymer gels, and Fire Ants

16 November 2022, 15:00 - 16:15
Csiro Scienceimage 11133 Tropical Fire Ant

Joint ESS-MAX IV Science Colloquium

Speaker: Alberto Fernandez-Nieves

This talk will introduce the field of soft condensed matter and highlight why soft matter is indeed soft and interesting. We will mention a few specific examples and focus on microscopically jiggling particles, colloids, and how you can think of them as large atoms with which to address questions in the field of statistical mechanics and phase transitions. We will then focus on colloidal hydrogels and emphasize their significance and what new ingredients they bring compared to more conventional colloids. When larger in size you enter into the granular realm, and if additionally active, you fall out-of-equilibrium and become part of what we call active matter. Our fire-ant work falls in this category.