The surprising connections which have developed between physics and various fields as diverse as biology and economics now constitute the fascinating research area known as complex materials and systems. The study of complex materials and processes is rapidly expanding, and many important experimental and theoretical discoveries have been made in recent years. Statistical physics is key to exploring this new and expanding field, enabling an understanding of real-world phenomena compromised of complex materials or exhibiting complex processes.
This book includes lectures presented at the CLXXVI International School of Physics “Enrico Fermi”, held in Varenna, Italy, in July 2010. The school focused on recent advances and developing perspectives in the study of complex materials and processes, as related to physics and biology. The book provides both an introduction and a complete presentation of recent theoretical and experimental developments for each topic. Topics addressed include: scaling and universality, supra-molecular systems and solutions, polymer systems, static and dynamics of liquid water, arrested dynamics and jamming, dynamics of out of equilibrium systems, physics of confined liquids, granular matter, physics of biological and medical systems, networks in physical and social sciences, turbulence in physics, biology and economics and finally, switching phenomena in biology and economics.
The book provides reviews of these cutting edge topics by leading authorities and will be a reference work useful to both advanced research professionals and beginning graduate students.