Sept. 9-20, 2002 in Albena near Varna, Bulgaria, is intended as an interdisciplinary school
on advanced theoretical and simulational methods used in the study of soft condensed
matter properties and phenomena on surfaces and interfaces. The
purpose of the Institute is to review
the present understanding of the phenomena taking place on surfaces and interfaces of diverse systems. The lectures will focus on the most salient computational methods and techniques which have been developed and used broadly during the last decade in this rapidly developing field of statistical physics.
In recent years, along with an enormous increase in available computer power, numerous substantial advances have also been made in computational methods applied to many scientific sub-fields of statistical physics. This progress now enables researchers in "soft-condensed matter physics" (the branch of physics dealing with complex systems "in between" usual fluids and solids, e.g., polymeric fluids, liquid crystals, gels, membranes, etc.), and in surface and interface science in particular, to treat their research problems, most of which are intrinsically of many-body nature, without resorting to any ad hoc assumptions which are unavoidable in the conventional 'one-body' approaches. In fact, nowadays computational methods such as Monte Carlo methods and Molecular Dynamics simulations are indispensable to most researchers in the field. In this sense, one may say that computational physics is no longer a new frontier but rather a well developed, essential mode of investigation. We therefore expect that research in surface and interface science will see an ever-increasing fraction of computational studies aimed at a more fundamental understanding of these systems, including an additional complexity, and making use of new and efficient computational methods.
The objective of the organizers is to present a coherent and focused school. We plan the individual courses to be complementary to each other, avoiding overlapping between topics covered by different lecturers.The lecturers will be asked to write their contribution as chapters of a book that will be published. Preprints of the lectures will be distributed before the start of the School to enable students to interact with the lecturers as much as they want. The expertise we propose to assemble at this School and the information that we will disseminate among the aspiring researchers in the form of Proceedings is thus expected to serve as an appropriate reference book to the field for some time to come.
To create a stimulating and less formal atmosphere two evening
poster sessions and several outdoor activities will be organized
so as to enable the participants to understand advanced research materials and
discuss specific scientific topics with the aim to encourage scientific exchange
of ideas in a broader international context.