Authored by world-leading physicists, this introductory textbook explores the basic principles of polymers, colloids, liquid crystals, wetting, and foams. It is a practical ‘toolbox’ for readers to acquire basic knowledge in the field and facilitate further reading and advanced courses. Undergraduate students in physics, biology, and the medical sciences will learn the basics of soft matter physics, in addition to scaling approaches in the spirit of the Nobel prize laureate in physics in 1991, Pierre-Gilles de Gennes, the inventor of soft matter physics and close collaborator to author Françoise Brochard-Wyart.


  • Accessible and compact approach
  • Contains exercises to enhance understanding
  • All chapters are followed by a short 1-2 page "insert chapter" which serve as illustrations with concrete examples from everyday life (e.g. the Paris Metro, a zebrafish, a gecko, duck feathers etc.)

chapter Chapter 1|6 pages


chapter Chapter 2|25 pages

Soft Matter

chapter Chapter 3|29 pages

Phase Transitions

chapter Chapter 4|40 pages


chapter Chapter 5|10 pages

Liquid Crystals

chapter Chapter 6|15 pages


chapter Chapter 7|54 pages


chapter Chapter 8|22 pages

Soft Matter in Everyday Life

chapter Chapter 9|14 pages

Soft Matter in Technology

chapter Chapter 10|35 pages

Soft Matter in Biology

chapter Chapter 11|2 pages