Second International Workshop on Nonequilibrium Processes in Plasma Physics and Studies of Environment

Belgrade and Novi Sad, Serbia, August 23-26, 2008


It is our pleasure to announce that 2nd International Workshop on Nonequilibrium Processes in Plasma Physics and Studies of Environment will be held in Belgrade and Novi Sad, Serbia, August 23-26, 2008.

The workshop originated as a part of the FP6 COE 026328 which had the basic aim of promoting centers of excellence in Western Balkan countries, to facilitate dissemination of their results and to help them establish themselves in the broader arena of European and international science. So the best way to achieve all those goals was to prepare a workshop associated with the local conference SPIG (Symposium on Physics of Ionized Gases) where the participants could attend sessions in which the host Laboratory presented progress reports and papers and thereby gain a full perspective of our results. At the same time this allowed participants in the COE the opportunity to compare their results with the results of external speakers and to gain new perspectives and knowledge.

The program of the workshop was augmented by inviting some of our colleagues who visited the COE in recent years or have an active collaboration with a participating member. As the program of the COE covers a wide area of topics from application of plasmas in nano- electronics to monitoring and removal of pollutants in the atmosphere, so the program of the workshop covered an even broader range of topics with the common thread of non- equilibrium phenomena playing a major part in the basic physics and also in the technological applications. The universal symbol of non-equilibrium phenomena is Maxwell's demon and it was selected, as designed by Professor Rastko Ćirić (of Belgrade's University for Fine Arts), to be the symbol of the conference.

In plasma physics, the field is usually divided between equilibrium and non-equilibrium plasmas. The advantage of studying plasmas in thermal equilibrium is that they may be described by universal laws, such as Saha and Boltzmann equations. The only problem is that, apart from the very early stages in the development of the universe, such plasmas do not exist, although there are plasmas that come very close and at least satisfy the thermal laws locally. Non-equilibrium plasmas have laws unique to each situation and studies of their idiosyncrasies continue to provide a lot of food for thought for scientists, possibilities for applications and job opportunities. Or as Tolstoy wrote, `Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way?'. So, while making analogy of the non-equilibrium with the lack of happiness may sound discouraging, the scientists who try to observe these phenomena (like psychologists in the case of families) have plenty to study and are, therefore, likely to be happy. At the same time non-equilibrium phenomena in plasmas and in the atmosphere are extremely important. A fact we should be aware of every time we use an integrated circuit manufactured after the late 1970s or whenever weather changes, wind blows and pollution is carried in from some distant locations.

From the Introduction to the Proceedings of the 1st Workshop



Institute of Physics, Belgrade

Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts


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