Processes in complex chemical systems, such as macromolecules, electrolytes, interfaces, micelles and enzymes, can span several orders of magnitude in length and time scales. The length and time scales of processes occurring over this broad time and space window are frequently coupled to give rise to the control necessary to ensure specificity and the uniqueness of the chemical phenomena. A combination of experimental, theoretical and computational techniques that can address a multiplicity of length and time scales is required in order to understand and predict structure and dynamics in such complex systems. This review highlights recent experimental developments that allow one to probe structure and dynamics at increasingly smaller length and time scales. The key theoretical approaches and computational strategies for integrating information across time-scales are discussed. The application of these ideas to understand phenomena in various areas, ranging from materials science to biology, is illustrated in the context of current developments in the areas of liquids and solvation, protein folding and aggregation and phase transitions, nucleation and self-assembly. © Indian Academy of Sciences.
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