foams consist of gas bubbles separated by a continuous liquid phase.
Their study attracts a wide community of scientists, for various reasons:
Foams provide a wealth of industrial applications. This is not only apparent in our daily life, where their increasing presence in beverages, cosmetics, cleaning products, furniture and even art. They are used in large amounts in applications as diverse as ore separation by flotation in mines, oil recovery, fire fighting, and dozens others, including the preparation of solid foams for the construction for stable but lightweight technologies.
Moreover, foams are a model for various other complex systems. Foam coarsening parallels grain growth and emulsion ripening, bubble walls are experimental realisations of mathematical minimisation of surfaces under constraints, and drainage in foams is similar to flow across a deformable porous material. Briefly speaking, foams are probably the "simplest complex fluid": their mechanical behaviour has common points with the rheology of granular materials, biological cell aggregates, and various soft glassy materials. This stirs a constant flux of ideas, researchers and techniques between the foam community and other disciplines.
Modern science fiends foam structures on all length scales: from quantum foams via nano foams all the way to the foam like arrangement of matter in our universe.
And last but not least: foams are beautiful and fun!
The aim of the school is to give young scientists a complete overview of the current understanding subjects of investigation of the physics of foams. Aim is not only to provide the individual with scientific background, but to expand and strengthen the community of scientists working in related fields. Different approaches (foam structure, rheology, drainage, coarsening) will be brought together. Other approaches coming from chemistry, mathematics and engineering, necessary for a complete understanding of the physical properties of foams will be tackled. A particular interest will be given to the teaching of experimental and numerical methods of investigations. This will be done in small-group tutorials, which take place every evening.
The scientific part of the school will consist of three main elements:
1. Morning: 3 one-hour lectures in the morning
2. Late afternoon: 1 hour of short presentations given by the participants of the school (voluntary, but strongly encouraged)
3. Early evening: Computational and experimental tutorials/labs
The early afternoon will be free for discussions, project work or leisure activities.
The lectures will be from Tuesday the 10th, morning, to Friday the 20th, noon. Arrival at Les Houches, Ecole de Physique on Monday the 9th, in the afternoon after 15:00. Departure from Les Houches, Ecole de Physique on Friday the 20th, after lunch.