States of Matter

Speaker: Deepak Dhar
Date: Saturday, 28 February 2009: 4 p.m.
Venue: Homi Bhabha Auditorium, TIFR


In school level textbooks on general science, we are told that matter exists in three states: solid, liquid and gas. What exactly distinguishes these states from each other? What other more unusual states are possible? I will try to show that many of the things we read in textbooks are obviously wrong, and any student who thinks about it a bit can see that. I will also discuss how some of the materials we encounter in every-day life ( e.g. sand, butter) that defy the simple classification, and have interesting properties.

About the speaker

Professor Deepak Dhar ranks amongst the most accomplished contemporary theoretical physicists in the country. Selected as a National Science Talent Search Scholar in 1967, he obtained his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees from University of Allahabad and IIT, Kanpur. After obtaining his Ph.D. degree from California Institute of Technology, USA, he returned to join TIFR in 1978. During last three decades, he has made outstanding contributions to statistical mechanics of Equilibrium and Non-Equilibrium Systems and the general field of Phase Transitions. He has been honoured with many prizes and awards including S.S. Bhatnagar Prize, TWAS Prize etc. He is a Fellow of all Academies of Sciences in India, as well as that of Third World Academy of Sciences