10th Liquid Matter Conference

By . Published on 08 August 2017 in:
August 2017, , , , ,

The 10th Liquid Matter Conference of the Liquid Physics Section of EPS – CMD, held from July 17th through 21st 2017 in sunny and friendly Ljubljana (Slovenia) will go down as one of the most successful editions of the Liquid Matter Conferences. Previous editions were held in Lyon, FR (1990), Firenze, IT (1993), Grenada, ES (1996), Norwich, UK (1999), Konstanz, AT (2002), Utrecht, NL (2005), Lund, SE (2008), Vienna, AT (2011), and Lisbon, PT (2014). The Liquid Matter meetings consistently attract between 600 and 700 physicists of the extremely active and prolific liquid- and soft condensed matter physics communities. In this respect, the very well attended and extremely lively Ljubljana meeting was no exception. With the Slovenian hosts having gone out of their way to make the conference the most enjoyable of occasions in every way, with opening, prize, and closing sessions highlighted by song, and a wonderful summer dinner in Ljubljana castle, this “conference-with-the-lady” will be duly remembered.

Whoever wandered down the aisles of the Cankarev Culture and Congress Centre in downtown Ljubljana, through the posters sessions, or at the afternoon social events, whoever would halt stopped to speak to any of those present, heard one of the magnificent talks and exhilarating scientific advances that the delegates were treated to agreed that the conference was a success. The programme committee organised a very exciting week, with highlights such as the talks of Gilles Tarjus (UPMC – Paris) on Supercooled liquids and the glass transition, Kathleen Stebe (Penn State) on Assembly in confined soft matter hosts, Oleg Lavrentovich (Kent State) on the control of bacteria using liquid crystals, or the brilliant and convincing demonstration of the first order of the hexatic-to-liquid transition in two dimensional assemblies of hard spheres by Roel Dullens (Oxford), or again Erwin Frey (Münich) on self-organization in active matter.

Prize ceremony for the EPS Liquid Matter Prize 2017 - FLTR: I. Musevic, C.J. van der Beek and prize winner Jacob Klein
Prize ceremony for the EPS Liquid Matter Prize 2017

The Liquid Matter Prize, first attributed in 2005, was awarded this year to Jacob Klein of the Weizmann Institute of Science for his career-spanning achievements, discoveries, and seminal work on polymer reptation, friction in different systems including polymer brushes, simple liquids, and ionic solutions, the nature of slip-stick motion, phase transitions of confined liquids, and the application of novel understanding of liquid interface shear mechanisms and friction to the development of strategies for healing or alleviating arthritis in knee-, hip-, and shoulder joints. Jacob Klein received the Liquid Prize and delivered the impressive Prize Lecture during a ceremony on the afternoon Wednesday, July 19th.

The conference also saw the prize lecture of the 2017 laureate of the EPJ-E Pierre-Gilles de Gennes prize, Ramin Golestanian of the Rudolf Peierls Centre for Theoretical physics in Oxford. Ramin Golestanian received the PGG award for his outstanding theoretical contributions to the physics of microswimmers and their hydrodynamic interactions, which have led to a series of exciting new discoveries and stimulated the development of the field of active matter.

The other sessions, be they semi-plenary or posters, abounded with scientific gems, which generally left attendants frustrated for not being able to attend more than a single session at once, or to interact personally with all the poster presenters.

Those who attended the 2017 Liquid Matter conference witnessed an extremely lively, productive, and exciting week, in what proved to be one of the most pleasant possible cities to hold a conference. Rendez-vous is given for the 11th Liquids conference, that will be held in Prague (Czech Republic) in 2020.

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