Soft Matters 2003

A Bilateral Symposium sponsored by the Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter (Philadelphia) and the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces (Golm)

Max Planck Speakers:
Andreas Fery
Peter Fratzl
Jan Kierfeld
Dirk Kurth
Helmut Möhwald
Helmut Schlaad
Thomas Weikl 
LRSM Speakers:
Hai-Lung Dai
Dennis Discher
Daniel Hammer
(presented by Valeria Tohver-Milam)
Paul Janmey
Michael Klein
Tom Lubensky
Arjun Yodh
Other speakers:
Alexander Bershadsky, Weizmann Institute
Josef Käs, University Leipzig
Helmut Ringsdorf, University Mainz

Special guest:
Berthold Neizert, Max Planck Society

Date and Venue

May 12 & 13, 2003
Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Max Planck Campus Golm
Monday, May 12: large lecture hall in the central building
Tueday, May 13: large seminar room above MPI library


A list of times and speakers can be found on the schedule page.

Soft Materials

Classical fluids, liquid crystals, polymers, colloids, emulsions, membranes, cells and tissues are representative of what are now identified as "soft" materials. They are materials that flow or distort easily in response to shear and other external forces. They provide a fascinating testing ground for many-body statistical physics, and for the investigation of entropy, defects, phase transitions and other instabilities. Research on these substances is technology driven too. They are attractive starting materials in photonics and lithography, in high-tech ceramics and in biochemical sensing. They affect practical control of fluid rheologies, improving the performances of materials ranging from conventional paints to motor oils to food and cosmetics. Finally, the interplay between biology and soft materials has emerged as a frontier area of science, providing new methods of probing biological systems, new ways of thinking about their properties, and deriving new models for non-biological materials.

Scope of the Symposium

This is the second meeting of its kind. The first one was held September 27 & 28, 2002, at Philadelphia. The aim of these symposia is to bring together representatives from the University of Pennsylvania and the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces to discuss Soft Matters. The meeting is intended as a seed for bilateral projects and activities, which we hope to expand to include other institutions in Europe and the US. In order to foster discussions about joint projects, Dr. Berthold Neizert, head of the office of foreign relations at the administrative headquarters of the Max Planck Society at Munich, will give a talk on May 12 on funding possibilities for EU-US collaborations. Participation of other members of the Potsdam and Berlin area and broader soft materials community will be encouraged through informal discussion and a poster session on Tuesday, May 13.


There is no registration fee for the Symposium, but if you are not from the MPI and want to attend, please email to Thorsten Erdmann so that we can plan for the coffee breaks (for lunch, you might want to visit our canteen). If you want to present a poster on Tuesday (irrespective of being from the MPI or not), please email authors and title.


Reinhard Lipowsky, Ulrich Schwarz, Arjun Yodh

Last modified Mon May 19 09:19:58 CEST 2003.