19 January 2010

Queensland will host some of the world’s elite scientists later this year at the 24th International Conference on Statistical Physics sponsored by The University of Queensland.

Conference Chair Professor Mark Gould, from UQ’s School of Mathematics and Physics, said the conference would see leading international researchers in the fields of mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, and computer science come together in July in Cairns.

“It is the first time the event has been hosted in Australia and a great opportunity to showcase The University of Queensland in our Centenary Year,” Professor Mark Gould said.

“We’ve an impressive list of speakers assembled for the meeting including Nobel Laureates Wolfgang Ketterle and Chen-Ning Yang, as well as Fields Medalist Michael Freedman from Microsoft.”

Professor Gould said statistical physics was a fundamental research field that aimed to relate the microscopic properties of individual particles of a system, such as atoms or molecules, to the bulk physical properties that are observed at larger scales, such as temperature or magnetisation.

“Statistical Physics can be applied to a range of fields and we hope, by highlighting the ever increasing need for interdisciplinary collaboration in scientific research, this conference will progress forward the development of some of the next generation of technologies,” Professor Gould said.

Keynote addresses will also be delivered by Daniel Fisher (Stanford), Subir Sachdev (Harvard) and Michelle Wang (Cornell).

The diverse topics to be covered in keynote addresses range from theoretical aspects in evolution and quantum computing, through to the latest experimental progress in single molecule biophysics and ultra-cold atomic gases.

Part of the tradition of the International Conference on Statistical Physics is the presentation of the Boltzmann Medal.

The Boltzmann Medal is the most important prize awarded to researchers that obtain new results concerning Statistical Physics, and is named after the celebrated physicist Ludwig Boltzmann.

To coincide with the conference, a range of satellite meetings in a variety of fields have been scheduled around the country and internationally including Brisbane, Cairns, Port Douglas, Sydney, Melbourne, Bangalore, Beijing, Hanoi, Hong Kong, Kyoto, Pondicherry/Chennai, Seoul, Singapore, Taipei and Tokyo.

The 24th International Conference on Statistical Physics is a triennial meeting of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics and will be held at the Cairns Convention Centre in July, 2010.

For more information visit www.statphys.org.au

Media: Dr Jon Links, Centre for Mathematical Physics, (07 3365 2400 or email jrl@uq.edu.au).