Also in complex systems it is all a matter of intermolecular forces

PHYS 183

Giacinto Scoles, gscoles@princeton.edu, Department of Chemistry, Princeton University (USA) and Int. School for Advanced Studies (Trieste, Italy), Washington Road, Princeton, NJ 08544
Our progress in understanding, in relatively simple terms, intermolecular forces will be reviewed and the case will be made that there is little point in increasing the complexity of the system under study before the right theoretical and experimental tools to treat the matter quantitatively are available. As an example, the tremendous progress that is presently being made in our understanding of basic and applied biology because of the availabilty of tools that allow the handling of molecules from groups of a few hundred molecules down to the single molecule level will be discussed. The same is true for the progress that these "molecular tools" will soon allow because of their ability to handle single cell events one by one. Last but not least it will be argued that the old artificial separation between basic and applied research is disappearing with the increasing importance of biology in scientific research.