MECHANICS AND PHYSICS OF SOFT MATERIAL
Comparing to hard materials (e.g. steel and ceramics), soft materials such as rubber, hydrogel, and tissue are in many aspects more "liquid-like": large deformation, viscoelasticity, high permeability, and poor mechanical strength. This course covers the molecular pictures that underlie these behaviors and the continuum models that describe them. Topics discussed include nonlinear elasticity, rheology, stimuli-responsiveness, capillary effects, and fracture. The aim of the course is preparing students to tackle the important practical questions: how to design soft materials to achieve desired behavior, and how to process the material to obtain the designed structure.