Soft matter research is a rapidly growing interdisciplinary field covering physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, engineering, and so on. Its targets are for example, polymers, liquid crystals, colloids, amphiphilic molecules and bio-related materials. One of the important universal features among these materials is the mesoscopic structures and their dynamics. Due to the existence of the large scale structures, soft matter can easily be brought into non-equilibrium states by imposing weak external fields.
Our symposium is focused on the behavior of soft matter coupled to the non-equilibrium nature. Although the topics discussed will be wide-spread ranging from microscopic molecular dynamics of polymers to macroscopic flow behavior of structured fluids, their common features are formation of the mesoscopic and hierarchical structures originating from a large number of internal degrees of freedom of the constituents. We shall also organize some special sessions dedicated to several hot topics, for example, physics of membranes and non-linear transport in soft matter.
This symposium is planned as an activity of our research project supported by the Grant-in-Aid for the priority area “Soft Matter Physics” (2006-2010) from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) of Japan.