The mechanical, optical, electrical, and transport properties of polymers and other types of "soft matter" are presented with respect to the underlying physics and physical chemistry of polymers and colloids in solution, and solid states. Topics include how enthalpy and entropy determine conformation, molecular dimensions and packing of polymer chains and colloids and supramolecular materials. Examination of the structure of glassy, crystalline, and rubbery elastic states of polymers; thermodynamics of solutions, blends, crystallization; liquid crystallinity, microphase separation, and self-assembled organic-inorganic nanocomposites. Case studies of relationships between structure and function in technologically important polymeric systems.

A. Alexander-Katz

Concepts of statistical mechanics and thermodynamics applied to macromolecules: polymer conformations in melts, solutions, and gels; Rotational Isomeric State theory, Markov processes and molecular simulation methods applied to polymers; incompatibility and segregation in incompressible and compressible systems; molecular theory of viscoelasticity; relation to scattering and experimental measurements.

G.C. Rutledge, A. Alexander-Katz

Laws of thermodynamics: general formulation and applications to mechanical,
electromagnetic and electrochemical systems, solutions, and phase diagrams.
Computation of phase diagrams. Statistical thermodynamics and relation between
microscopic and macroscopic properties, including ensembles, gases, crystal
lattices, phase transitions. Applications to phase stability and properties
of mixtures. Computational modeling. Interfaces.

G. Ceder, A. Alexander-Katz