Specialty Chief Editor Professor Jasper Van Der Gucht hopes to address the whole range of soft matter physics with this new journal section.
— by Claudio Bogazzi
Soft Matter Physics deals with a wide range of physical systems such as polymers, gels and colloids. These systems can be easily deformed by external forces and their behavior is governed by weak interactions at energy scales comparable to thermal energy.
“It is a relatively young, independent research field, bringing together researchers from polymer physics and chemistry, colloid science, statistical physics, biophysics, and mechanical engineering,” said Professor Van Der Gucht. “While there are many journals focusing on a particular kind of soft matter system, there is a need for journals that cover the whole range of soft matter physics, emphasizing their common features. The soft matter field is growing rapidly, also in countries where access to traditional journals is limited. Open access is important in such a global community, to allow every soft matter scientist in the world to learn about new findings and results.”
When asked about the main challenges facing the field of Soft Matter today, he said:
“It is difficult to single out one challenge for the whole field, but it is clear that the field is moving more and more towards non-equilibrium phenomena: kinetics in complex energy landscapes, soft matter in flow, under extreme deformations, or in external fields, and, more recently, active matter. Understanding the principles of soft matter out-of-equilibrium clearly asks for new experimental tools and theoretical approaches.”
The Frontiers in Physics Team welcomes Professor Van Der Gucht and looks forward to a fruitful collaboration.