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SoMaS Summer School 2018



JULY 8–13, 2018



Mittelwihr, France




One fundamental characteristic of soft materials is their unique capability to respond to external stimuli. Even weak stimuli may induce significant changes in behavior due to the softness and mesoscopic structuring of these materials. While softness results from weak interactions between the constituents, mesoscopic structuring is often a consequence of spontaneous self-assembly into ordered arrangements much larger in size than the constituent molecules.

Structuring on several length scales also implies a hierarchy of dynamic processes which can span many orders of magnitude in time. This large spread of time scales makes complex relaxation phenomena ubiquitous in soft matter systems: They can be easily brought out of equilibrium by external fields, leading to nonlinear response to these fields, and display material properties that are determined by the history of the processing conditions. The importance of the interplay between mesoscopic structuring, intrinsic time scales, external stimuli and memory effects requires the development of new, possibly, hierarchical approaches to understand the nonlinear and nonequilibrium phenomena, which is one of the central issues of current soft matter research.

Main objectives of the SoMaS Summer Schools:

  • Introducing young researchers (PhD students, PostDocs, MSc students) through interdisciplinary lectures to the field of soft matter science
  • Integrating young researchers in the scientific community of soft matter and initiate cooperation between the participants
  • Providing information on the different career opportunities after a PhD in soft matter science


To this end the SoMaS Summer Schools deploy the following tools:

  • Basic knowledge is provided through a series of introductory courses.
  • The field of each course will be complemented and illustrated by research seminars and intensive discussion in tutorials.
  • In order to boost scientific exchange, all participants shall present their results and, most importantly, their questions and strategies in the form of posters.
  • Several sessions on career prospects will complete the school.


PhD and master students can obtain 3 ECTS points for the scientific units and
1 ECTS point
for the career seminars.

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