High temperature science is ubiquitous - critical to many processes and applications all around us, such as heat engines, combustion, high temperature fuel cells, nuclear power generation, chemical plant processes, semiconductor processing, as well as many geological and cosmochemical processes. The Gordon Research Conference on High Temperature Materials, Processes, and Diagnostics addresses fundamental issues in high temperature science. It began in 1960 as the Gordon Research Conference in High Temperature Chemistry. The early conferences focused on the high temperature chemistry of both vapor and condensed phases. Topics included fundamental vaporization and condensation processes, structures of inorganic vapor phase molecules, gas/solid interactions, reaction and diffusion in the solid state, and conductivity of novel solid electrolytes. Many of the presentations were given by pioneers in the field and the topics grew into very active fields of research.
High temperature science has become an inherently interdisciplinary field, involving researchers from chemistry, materials science, physics, geology, and various engineering fields. Thus over the years the conference has evolved, and in 1998 the name was changed to “High Temperature Materials, Processes, and Diagnostics” to reflect current critical research interests in high temperature science. The development of high temperature metals, ceramics, semiconductors, polymers, and composites is necessary for many advanced energy conversion concepts. Many large research groups are focused specifically on high temperature materials. The dramatic growth of computational modeling tools from atomistic to the continuum scales has had a big impact on this research and the conference includes sessions on these techniques. The term "processes" in the conference title encompasses chemical changes, physical changes, as well as materials preparation. Another growth area in high temperature science is the development of sophisticated analytical techniques specifically for high temperature systems and recent conferences have included presentations on these methods.
Some of the most challenging technological problems of the future, such as developing clean, efficient energy conversion will be solved with high temperature science. We are currently anticipating our 50th anniversary conference in 2010, and we look forward to another fifty years of Gordon Conferences on High Temperature Materials, Processes, and Diagnostics, to address fundamental issues at the forefront of high temperature science.
What is a GRC? Gordon Research Conferences (GRC) are 5-day meetings that bring scientists together from around the world to present and discuss unpublished research with other leaders in their field.