MPŠ MP&Scaron MP&Scaron MP&Scaron Avtorji

Jožef Stefan
Postgraduate School

Jamova 39
SI-1000 Ljubljana

Phone: +386 1 477 31 00
Fax: +386 1 477 31 10


Course Description

Soft Matter


Nanosciences and Nanotechnologies, third-level study programme


prof. dr. Samo Kralj


Student get basic knowledge on soft matter systems and also get acquainted with several universal phenomena, that link them to other systems in nature (e.g. particle physics, cosmology…).


• Soft matter, general characteristics
• Interactions, atomic and molecular structures
• Continuum description and order parameter
• Phase and structural transitions
• Physics of defects, universalities, analogous systems (in solid state, particle physics and cosmology)
• Surface phenomena, thin films, wetting, anchoring
• Stability of colloidal patterns, gels
• Polymers
• Phase separation
• Applications

Course literature:

1. M. Kleman, O.D. Lavrentovich, Soft Matter Physics, Springer-Verlag, New York, 2003.
2. P.G. de Gennes and J. Prost, The Physics of Liquid Crystals, Clarendon press, Oxford, 1998.
3. P. M. Chaikin, T. C. Lubensky, Principles of Condensed Matter Physics, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, England, 1995.
4. Articles available at:

Significant publications and references:

S. Kralj, E.G. Virga, Universal fine structure of nematic hedgehogs, J.Phys.A:Math.Gen.34, 829-838 (2001).

S. Kralj and V. Popa-Nita, Random anisotropy nematic model: connection with experimental systems, Eur. Phys. J E 14, 115-125 (2004).

S. Kralj, R. Rosso, and E.G. Virga., Periodic Saddle-Splay Freedericksz Transition in Nematic Liquid Crystals, Eur. Phys. J E 17, 37-44 (2005).

V. Popa-Nita and S. Kralj, Random anisotropy nematic model: nematic--non-nematic mixture, Phys. Rev. E 73, 041705 (2006).

G. Cordoyiannis, S. Kralj, G. Nounesis, Z. Kutnjak, and S. Žumer, Pretransitional effects near the smectic-A–smectic-C* phase transition of hydrophilic and hydrophobic aerosil networks dispersed in ferroelectric liquid crystals, Phys. Rev. E 75, 021702 (2007).


Seminar and oral exam.

Students obligations:

Seminar and oral exam.