has progressed in exciting ways, both in experiment and in theory. Rheological instruments have reached a high
level of sophistication and, as a consequence, an abundance of high quality
rheological data have become available for a wide variety of material classes.
These recent advances raise new questions such as: How can we cope with myriads of rheological data? How can we
extract useful information in a reasonably short time? Are the data
self-consistent? What are the dominating experimental parameters? Furthermore, the fundamental understanding
of rheology has reached a level where the molecular scale information can be
related to large scale flow behavior.
As an example (shown in the course), effects of molecular architecture
(linear dimension, branching level, for instance) on (large-scale) extensional
flow will be quantified and visualized on the screen. This gives rise to new questions such as: What molecular
phenomena determine the macroscopic flow and to which extent? Do the
theoretical predictions really work? Where are the limits of the
predictions? These are typical
questions about experiment and theory that you will be addressing during the