UK Nonlinear News, November 2003
PHYSCON (Physics and Control) 2003 was held from August 20-22 in the beautiful Anichkov palace in St. Petersburg. It was dedicated to topics at the interface between physics and control, with subtopics and participants from control theory and applications, mathematics, physics, and other natural sciences. The contributions of 230 participants from 32 countries were scheduled in tracks of 6 parallel sessions and a single poster session. Among sponsoring and organising organisations were IUTAM, the European Physical Society, two IEEE Societies, Russian societies and institutions, and the host university of Professor G. Chen, the City University of Hong Kong.
While being somewhat of a follow-up of the 1997 and 2000 conferences on the Control of Oscillations and Chaos at the same place, the new name PHYSCON (coinciding only with an Egypt Pharaoh name) chosen by Professor Fradkov was chosen to reflect a thematically broadening in the scope of the conference. Aside from classical control theory and the now 13 years old field of controlling chaos, pattern and structure formation from macro- to nanoscale were also discussed.
Mathematically specialised sessions covered nonlinear and optimal control, but also chaotification, adaptive control, and many applied topics (including plasma-, nano-, beam-, and mechanical control) were covered. Thanks to Professor J. Kurths and Professor S. Boccalletti a broad track on synchronisation was offered. The broad and emerging field of control of molecular and nanostructures was represented by special sessions and the plenary talk of Professor H. Rabiz gave an authentic introduction to the field. The plenary talk of Professor K. Pyragas reviewed classic and recent developments in time-continuous control techniques and underlying theory. The conference started with Professor J. Yorke connecting classic Plato ideas to the measurement of chaotic attractors, and ended with an enthusiastic talk by Professor A. Fradkov on Cybernetical Physics, and the invitation to meet again in St. Petersburg in 2-3 years.