Cover: Sensitive Matter: Foams, Gels, Liquid Crystals, and Other Miracles, from Harvard University PressCover: Sensitive Matter in HARDCOVER

Sensitive Matter

Foams, Gels, Liquid Crystals, and Other Miracles

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Product Details


$26.00 • £20.95 • €23.50

ISBN 9780674064560

Publication Date: 04/10/2012


208 pages

5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

15 halftones, 15 line illustrations


  • Preface: Matter, Are You There? / Jean-Claude Carrière
  • Prologue: Sensitive Matter, Divine Matter?
  • Introduction: Let Us Praise Sensitivity, a Unifying Virtue
  • Conciliation: The Art of Resolving Conflicts
    • 1. Peacemaking among Enemies… Easy When a Mediator Is Involved
      • Blend or Separate?
      • Conciliation
      • No-Fail Mayonnaise
      • A Very Discreet Peacemaker
      • Beyond Mayonnaise
    • 2. Dissolving Fat in Water: A Question of Organization
    • 3. Don’t Mix, Associate!
      • Those Were the Days
      • The Psychology of a School of Fish
      • Molecular Anatomy
      • Sequestering a School of Fish
      • Windows Would Do Well to Reflect
      • Revelation: The Little Additive That Changes Everything
    • 4. Rubber: A Story Nearly Cut Short
      • Exploring the Amazon
      • Charles Goodyear: A Human Adventure
      • Beyond Rubber
      • Polywater: A Case of Pathological Science
    • 5. The Firefighter’s Jet Stream: Reach for the Sky
    • 6. The Glamorous Affair of Gas and Liquid
      • From Grape Juice to a Champagne Glass: This Way, Please!
      • The Role of Interfaces
      • Certified Foamability
      • Living on the Edge
      • Beyond Champagne
    • 7. Down with Foam!
    • 8. Breathing: An Unseen Triumph
      • What Is the Problem?
      • The History of Alveolar Pressure
      • Not Too Much, Not Too Little
      • Pulmonary Surfactant: A Multifunctional Material
    • 9. Familiarity and Distance: Colloids
      • Being Divided Brings Them Together
      • The Scribe’s Task
      • Ménage à Trois
      • Neither Too Little nor Too Much
      • Additional Instructions
      • Antithesis
      • Postscript
    • 10. Sensitive Cooking
      • Barcelona, Carrer del Carme
      • Contain
      • Stabilize
      • Coat
      • Thicken
  • Adaptation: Responding to the Environment
    • 11. A Cell, Though Not a Prison
      • Two or Three Things We Know about It
      • Cellular Traffic
      • The Membrane Has No Lack of Potential
    • 12. Putting Drug Delivery on Controlled Release
      • Meeting Up, but Where and When?
      • Encapsulation-Decapsulation: Liposomes
      • Swelling-Deswelling: Excitable Polymers
      • Best of Luck!
    • 13. Perpetual Sensitivity: Granular Matter
      • Age-Old Matter, Fresh Topic
      • Complex Matter, but Why?
      • The Paradox of the Missing Mass
      • Key to the Vault of Sensitivity
    • 14. Liquefaction of the “Blood” of St. Januarius
      • Sensitive “Blood”: Imitations
      • Complex Fluids: A Feast of Sensitivities
      • Transformation by Touch
      • The “Blood” of St. Januarius: A Yield-Stress Fluid?
      • Natural versus Supernatural
      • Premeditation versus Chance
  • Epilogue
  • Bonus Tracks
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Acknowledgments
  • Credits
  • Index of Sensitive Materials
  • Index of Proper Names

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