The year 2012 marks the 140th birth anniversary of Marian Smoluchowski (28.05.1872-5.09.1917), a man who "made ground-breaking contribution to the theory of Brownian motion, the theory of sedimentation, the statistical nature of the Second Law, the theory and practice of density fluctuations (critical opalescence). During his final years of scientific creativity his pioneering theory of coagulation and diffusion-limited reaction rate appeared. These outstanding achievements present true gems which dominate the description of soft matter physics and chemical physics as well as the related areas up till now!" This quotation was taken from the lecture by Peter H\"anggi given at international conference Statistical Physics: Modern Trends and Applications
that took place in Lviv, Ukraine on July 3-6, 2012 (see conference web-page
for more details) and was dedicated to the commemoration of Smoluchowski's work. This and forthcoming issues of the Condensed Matter Physics contain papers presented at this conference.
Editors of the issue: B. Berche, M. Holovko, A. Trokhymchuk, V. Vlachy