Many of the distinctive and useful phenomena of soft matter come from its interaction with interfaces. Examples are the peeling of a strip of adhesive tape, the coating of a surface, the curling of a fiber via capillary forces, or the collapse of a porous sponge. These interfacial phenomena are distinct from the intrinsic behavior of a soft material like a gel or a microemulsion. Yet many forms of interfacial phenomena can be understood via common principles valid for many forms of soft matter. Our goal in organizing this school was to give students a grasp of these common principles and their many ramifications and possibilities. The Les Houches Summer School comprised over fifty 90-minute lectures over four weeks. Four four-lecture courses by Howard Stone, Michael Cates, David Nelson and L. Mahadevan served as an anchor for the program. A number of shorter courses and seminars rounded out the school. This volume collects the lecture notes of the school.
Lyderic Bocquet is a researcher at CNRS and a professor at Ecole Normale Superieure Paris. In the past he held similar positions in Lyon. His research focuses on soft condensed matter, hydrodynamics and nanosciences, with experimental, theoretical and numerical techniques. He has been invited for visiting positions at MIT, Technical University Munich, University of Barcelona, University of Pennsylvania, and Imperial College. He has received many international prizes and has published about 150 papers in international journals. David Quere is a French physicist. He graduated at Ecole Superieure de Physique et Chimie Industrielles de Paris and obtained a PhD from Universite Pierre et Marie Curie. Currently he is professor at Ecole Polytechnique and researcher at CNRS. He has been a scientific advisor at Saint-Gobain since 1995 and at Procter & Gamble since 2002. His main subject of research is the impact of droplets on different surfaces. He was awarded the Silver Medal from CNRS, which honors researchers who are recognized nationally and internationally for the originality, quality, and importance of their work. Thomas Witten obtained a PhD at University of San Diego. He was full professor at University of Chicago where he is now emeritus. His research concerns collective mechanisms for creating spontaneous structure in forms of conventional condensed matter such as polymer liquids, evaporating liquid drops, layer-forming surfactant micelles and thin elastic sheets. He has received many awards. Among these, he is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2000 and has been a fellow of the National Academy of Sciences since 2001. Leticia Cugliandolo is full professor at Sorbonne Universites, Universite Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris 6. She is director of the Les Houches School of Physics since 2007. She authored more than 140 scientific publications and co-edited the Les Houches book collection since 2007. She received the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Marie Curie Excellence Award, the Langevin Prize from the French Physical Society and the Irene Joliot-Curie Prize.