Dr. Alice P. Gast Delivers the 2014 Jeanne and Martin Sussman Endowed Lecture
Why Are Complex Fluids So Simple and So Interesting?
April 2, 2014
Time: 12:30-2:30 P.M.
Alumnae Lounge, 40 Talbot Avenue, Medford, MA
Lunch will precede the lecture that begins at 1:30 P.M.
Register now >
There are many examples of fascinating and beautiful phenomena, such
as liquid crystalline behavior, shear thickening and other
rheological oddities, occurring in systems called complex fluids.
Complex fluids are liquid suspensions or solutions where the solute
or suspended particles differ in size from the suspending fluid.
Sometimes these size scales, usually in the 10-1000 nm range, arise
from self-assembly of smaller molecules. Thus, colloidal particles,
polymers, micelles, proteins, vesicles, emulsions, liquid crystals
and nanoparticles could all be components of a complex fluid. What
differentiates these systems from other fluids is the amplification
of intermolecular and surface forces that occurs with entities that
are in this size range. Thus, these systems can undergo dramatic
changes in properties, ranging from beautiful opalescence to rapid
sedimentation, under a narrow range of conditions. These changes can
be invoked with small changes in solvent, ionic strength,
temperature or other physical chemical properties. In trying to
understand and model these fluids, we benefit from analogies made to
atomic and molecular systems and we can readily adopt statistical
mechanical approaches to describe them. We can often predict a
complex fluid's physical properties by simplifying such a system and
treating it as model particles interacting through a model
potential. We will discuss several examples where colloidal
particles, polymeric micelles or proteins have simple models
capturing their very interesting behavior.
About Dr. Gast:
Dr. Alice P. Gast, an
internationally renowned scholar, researcher and academic leader,
was appointed the 13th president of Lehigh University in August
2006. She will become president of Imperial College London in
Prior to her appointment at Lehigh, Dr. Gast served as the vice
president for research and associate provost at the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology and held the Robert T. Haslam chair in
chemical engineering. She previously spent 16 years as a professor
of chemical engineering at Stanford University and the Stanford
Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory.
She is the co-author of Physical Chemistry of Surfaces, 6th edition,
a classic textbook on colloid and surface phenomena, and has
co-authored numerous scientific publications.
In 2010, Dr. Gast was named to the prestigious post of U.S. Science
Envoy by the U.S. State Department. As one of three science envoys
named in 2010, Dr. Gast traveled to the Caucasus and Central Asia
and has advised the White House, the Department of State, and the
U.S. scientific community about ways to deepen existing ties and
foster new relationships there. Additionally, Dr. Gast is a fellow
of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the
National Academy of Engineering.
Review her full biography >
About The Jeanne and Martin Sussman Endowed Lecture:
Martin Victor Sussman grew up in New York City, entering high school
at age 12. At 19, he received an undergraduate degree in chemical
engineering from the City College of New York. He earned a doctorate
in chemical engineering from Columbia University. He was a Fellow of
the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and American Institute
of Chemists, and was a registered Professional Engineer in
Massachusetts. He was a gentleman, an inventor, and a scholar who
planted seeds of technical knowledge around the world.
Professor Emeritus Sussman was a member of the Department of
Chemical Engineering at Tufts University for 37 years. He taught
thermodynamics to generations of Tufts engineering students, and
captivated liberal arts majors with his lectures on the interaction
of culture and technology. The Tufts community was deeply saddened
by his passing on April 13, 2005.
The department was honored to receive a gift of $100,000 from the
Estate of Professor Martin V. Sussman. This gift has been named The
Jeanne and Martin Sussman Endowed Fellowship and Lectureship Fund.
Administered by the Department of Chemical and Biological
Engineering, the fund is intended to provide an international
fellowship for Chemical and Biological Engineering undergraduates
and a biannual chemical engineering lectureship series.
The department is extremely grateful for the opportunity to honor
Professor Sussman's life and dedicated service to the university,
and would like to express thanks for the kindness and generosity of
the Sussman family.