Vallombrosa Center was host during the week September 7-12, 1985 to about 40 mathematicians, physical scientists, and engineers, who share a common interest in free surface phenomena. This volume includes a selection of contributions by participants and also a few papers by interested scientists who were unable to attend in person. Although a proceedings volume cannot recapture entirely the stimulus of personal interaction that ultimately is the best justification for such a gathering, we do offer what we hope is a representative sampling of the contributions, indicating something of the varied and interrelated ways with which these classical but largely unsettled questions are currently being attacked. For the participants, and also for other specialists, the 23 papers that follow should help to establish and to maintain the new ideas and insights that were presented, as active working tools. Much of the material will certainly be of interest also for a broader audience, as it impinges and overlaps with varying directions of scientific development. On behalf of the organizing committee, we thank the speakers for excellent, well-prepared lectures. Additionally, the many lively informal discussions did much to contribute to the success of the conference.
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