The 2011 Gordon Conference on "Soft Condensed Matter Physics: Soft Matter Far from Equilibrium" will highlight a wide range of phenomena at the forefront of soft materials research where traditional concepts, based on equilibrium physics, fail to provide an accurate description. Topics will include fluids and solids undergoing catastrophic deformations, active and self-propelled systems, new developments in and applications of turbulence, dynamics and flow in confined and driven systems, jamming and glassy systems, and the interplay of geometry and topology in soft materials. Invited speakers will represent a variety of scientific disciplines, ranging from soft condensed matter physics to chemical engineering to geophysics. The Conference will bring together investigators who are at the cutting edge of their field, and it will provide opportunities for junior scientists and graduate students to present their work in poster format as well as exchange ideas with leaders in the field. As a means to stimulate further exchange of ideas we plan to select by jury 3-4 junior presenters of particularly outstanding posters to give short talks. The collegial atmosphere of this Conference, with programmed sessions as well as opportunities for informal gatherings in the afternoons and evenings, provides an avenue for scientists from different disciplines to brainstorm and promotes cross-disciplinary collaborations in the various research areas represented. The conference will be preceded by a two-day Gordon-Kenan Research Seminar that provides a unique opportunity for young researchers to share in the GRC experience and build informal networks with their peers.

Project Report

The Gordon Research Conference on SOFT CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS was held at Colby-Sawyer College in New London, New Hampshire, August 14-19, 2011. The Conference was well-attended with 178 participants (attendees list attached). The attendees represented the spectrum of endeavor in this field coming from academia, industry, and government laboratories, both U.S. and foreign scientists, senior researchers, young investigators, and students. Of the 178 attendees, 68 voluntarily responded to a general inquiry regarding ethnicity which appears on our registration forms. Of the 68 respondents, 10% were Minorities – 3% Hispanic, 7% Asian and 0% African American. Approximately 22% of the participants at the 2011 meeting were women. In designing the formal speakers program, emphasis was placed on current unpublished research and discussion of the future target areas in this field. There was a conscious effort to stimulate lively discussion about the key issues in the field today. Time for formal presentations was limited in the interest of group discussions. In order that more scientists could communicate their most recent results, poster presentation time was scheduled. Attached is a copy of the formal schedule and speaker program and the poster program. In addition to these formal interactions, "free time" was scheduled to allow informal discussions. Such discussions are fostering new collaborations and joint efforts in the field. Thank you for your support of this Conference. As you know, in the interest of promoting the presentation of unpublished and frontier-breaking research, Gordon Research Conferences does not permit publication of meeting proceedings.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Materials Research (DMR)
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Daniele Finotello
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Gordon Research Conferences
West Kingston
United States
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