Announcing a new section of The European Physical Journal EPJ E - Soft MatterS. Grossmann, D. Jérome and A. Paoletti
"Soft matter" is a generic term that has come to refer to a large group of
condensed systems including polymers, supramolecular assemblies of
purpose-designed organic molecules, liquid crystals, colloids, lyotropic
systems, emulsions, biopolymers, and biomembranes. These are systems - often
complex fluids - that display a strong response to weak external perturbations
and also share many other common properties. Their similarities have led to the gradual emergence of the research field of soft matter sciences.
Soft matter sciences include the study of structured and surface-dominated materials such as microemulsions, block-copolymer mesophases, foams, and
granular matter, whose properties are governed by slow internal dynamics and
sensitivity to extremely weak external perturbations. Other characteristic features of these systems include entropic forces and colloidal or mesoscopic
length scale, whose investigation demands new experimental techniques such as micromanipulation.
The study of soft condensed matter has already stimulated fruitful interactions between physicists chemists, and engineers, and is now reaching out to biologists. Most importantly, complex fluids have many applications in everyday life, and fundamental research on soft matter is often closely linked to industrial research. A broad interdisciplinary community encompassing all these areas of science has emerged over the last thirty years, and with it our knowledge of soft matter has grown considerably.
A great many European scientists now believe that a journal dedicated to all aspects of soft matter science is urgently needed. The new section, EPJ E - Soft Matter, of The European Physical Journal aims to fill this need.
EPJ E will provide a common platform and audience for all scientists involved in soft matter science; a melting pot for ideas from diverse areas including physics, chemistry, materials sciences and of course biology. EPJ E will be in part a continuation of the subsection "Soft Condensed Matter" of The European Physical Journal B, and will be launched as an independent journal in January 2000. Serving this wide range of scientific communities, EPJ E will be substantially larger than the existing subsection of EPJ B, and further significant growth is envisaged within the first year of publication.
The new monthly journal will publish regular articles and rapid notes, but will also accept review articles. The latter are intended to explain and lay open current problems of common interest to all the communities involved. We expect such an approach to stimulate further interdisciplinary research on soft matter. EPJ E further intends to publish special issues on selected topics. The journal will also provide adequate scope for presentation and discussion of controversial ideas, well-founded conjectures, and comments on published work. However, the publication of conference proceedings is not among its aims. High scientific standards will be the top priority of the journal. To this end, and to ensure rapid publication of important results, every effort will be taken to ensure efficient communication between authors, editors, and publishers.
Manuscripts for The European Physical Journal E - Soft Matter can be subm itted as of now to the Editorial Office in Orsay, France.
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, Springer-Verlag 1999