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* Diffusion Fundamentals IV Conference Held on Campus

Photo by Daria Robbins

Diffusion Fundamentals IV Conference Held on Campus

In August, Rensselaer served as host for the Diffusion Fundamentals IV conference, bringing academics from around the world to the Troy campus to participate in the four-day event.

Diffusion Fundamentals IV marked the first time the conference was held outside of Europe. Attendees traveled to Rensselaer from as far away as Germany, China, and Australia.

The multidisciplinary conference is dedicated to exploring the concept of diffusion, or the random jittering movement of molecules. While many of the lectures and presentations were related to chemical engineering, Diffusion Fundamentals IV also featured talks and presentations about the physics of diffusion, as well as applications of diffusion in biology, medicine, geosciences, nanomaterials, and other areas.

“It is no exaggeration to say that diffusion is one of the most important fundamental physical phenomena, with boundless applications, not only in chemical engineering and other broad scientific areas, but also in sociology, business, and finance,” says conference chair Marc-Olivier Coppens, professor of chemical and biological engineering. “I expect this conference to help foster collaborations and multidisciplinary research among the students, academics, and researchers who attend.”

The first Diffusion Fundamentals conference took place in 2005 to coincide with the 150th anniversary of German physiologist Adolf Fick’s seminal study, “Über Diffusion” (1855), and with the 100th anniversary of Albert Einstein’s milestone journal article, “On the movement of small particles suspended in a stationary liquid demanded by the molecular-kinetic theory of heat” (1905).

The first three conferences took place, respectively, in Leipzig, Germany; L’Aquila, Italy; and Athens, Greece.

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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 5, Number 16, October 21, 2011
©2011 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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