Liquids, prototypical disordered condensed matters, are ubiquitous. Furthermore, when the temperature is lowered, many liquids can be supercooled and eventually vitrified into thermodynamically unstable but kinetically trapped glassy states. The phase behaviors of liquids and glasses are exceptionally rich, and in-depth understanding of them requires the development of new theoretical concepts and new experimental techniques. In addition, numerous soft and biological materials of amazing far-from-equilibrium complexity seem to share many intriguing features of liquids and glasses. Therefore, quantitative descriptions of the structure and dynamics of liquids and glassy soft materials and in-depth understanding of the nature of the glass transition will likely impact a wide range of disciplines in physics, chemistry, and materials science and engineering.
Due to the special scattering characteristics, neutrons have enabled a collection of powerful experimental tools, which provide detailed atomic spatial distributions as well as atomic dynamics. Historically, the quantitative treatment of liquids, such as using the intermediate scattering function, is largely influenced by early-age neutron scattering experiments. In the recent years, with the advent of the new generation of neutron sources around the world, it is possible to conduct elastic, quasi-elastic, and inelastic scattering experiments with extremely high accuracy, which, in principle, allows us to examine far more detailed predictions from theories and modeling than ever. This symposium will focus on the forefront of the liquids and glassy soft materials research and discuss the best practices of the cutting-edge neutron scattering experimental tools, as well as the related theories and multi-scale modeling and simulations.