About the Topical Group on Statistical & Nonlinear Physics

The objective of the Topical Group is the advancement and dissemination of knowledge in the interdisciplinary area of nonequilibrium statistical physics. This area encompasses nonlinear science from dynamical systems and chaos, through pattern formation and Spatio-temporal chaos, to fluid turbulence and complex systems. Also of prime interest are concepts of statistical mechanics, especially in their application to nonequilibrium systems as exemplified in the emerging field of "soft condensed matter physics". These include but are not limited to granular media, foams and emulsions, colloids, biomolecules, networks, polymers, dynamics of biological systems, and fracture dynamics. The Group encourages research and applications in these areas and promotes international cooperation.

The GSNP welcomes and needs the support of all APS members whose interests overlap with statistical and nonlinear physics. If you are not already a member, we urge you to become one. You may do this by using the APS Unit membership application form and following the instructions, or by marking the appropriate box when you renew your APS membership.

Suggestions or questions about the GSNP and its activities should be directed to the Chair of the Topical Group, to the Chair-Elect, or to the Vice-Chair.

This Home Page will be a major channel of communication for the GSNP Membership. If you have items of general interest to the Topical Group such as the announcement of conferences, workshops, or summer schools, please communicate them to either the Chair or the Secretary/Treasurer. We will post them here and will also disseminate the information via email to the GSNP mailing list.

Who We Are, What We Do

Nonequilibrium problems are ubiquitous in nature, but there are no known general principles to guide us in understanding them. In recent years, however, developments in nonlinear and chaotic dynamics on the one hand, and insights of scaling and universality on the other have unified many related areas of physics and have suggested important connections between seemingly disparate scientific topics. These topics are often highly interdisciplinary and are continuously evolving in scope so that simple all-encompassing description is difficult. The resulting discipline is called Statistical and Nonlinear Physics. The various overlapping topics that come under this heading have their roots in classical statistical physics and critical phenomena but emphasize the dynamical aspects of the problems. In recognition of this development, and of the fact that the American Physical Society (APS) did not have a unit supporting it, a Topical Group on Statistical and Nonlinear Physics was formed in 1998.

Since its inception, GSNP has looked to include a wide spectrum of nonlinear, nonequilibrium systems within its domain, including areas of nonlinear dynamical systems and chaos, pattern formation, Spatio-temporal chaos, turbulence, nonequilibrium statistical mechanics, and quantum chaos. Recently, there is the recognition that the emerging area of soft condensed matter physics, which includes many exciting topics such as granular media, friction, foams, colloids, biomolecules, polymers, liquid crystals, vesicles, and membranes, has considerable overlap with topics in the GSNP. One of the exciting aspects of this field is its rapid evolution and continuously changing focus. We hope that in the coming years we can keep a vital mix of venerable, established topics with new emerging ones.

The Topical Group on Statistical and Nonlinear Physics holds its annual meeting in conjunction with the APS March Meeting. The GSNP organizes Invited Symposia on recent exciting research in the area of statistical and nonlinear physics. In addition, Focus Sessions are put together in particularly active research areas where a grouping of talks including one or two invited talks combined with multiple contributed talks highlights that scientific effort. The March Meeting is an important venue for the GSNP and we encourage you to participate and suggest Symposia and Focus Session content.