Title: Landscape and Memory


Soft materials often get trapped in interesting metastable states, whose properties depend not only on thermodynamic conditions (pressure, temperature...) but also on their previous history. This memory effect is governed by the free-energy landscape through which the material has travelled en-route to its final state. Examples include the micelle-to-vesicle transition in biological lipids; the formation of nematic-colloid gels; and the granulation process used to make washing powder.

Prof. M. E. Cates
School of Physics
University of Edinburgh
JCMB Kings Buildings
Mayfield Road Edinburgh EH9 3JZ