The Fourth American Physical Society Topical Conference on Shock Waves in Condensed Matter was held in Spokane, Washington, July 22-25, 1985. Two hundred and fifty scientists and engineers representing thirteen countries registered at the conference. The countries represented included the United States of America, Australia, Canada, The People's Repub lic of China, France, India, Israel, Japan, Republic of China (Taiwan), United Kingdom, U. S. S. R, Switzerland and West Germany. One hundred and sixty-two technical papers, cov ering recent developments in shock wave and high pressure physics, were presented. All of the abstracts have been published in the September 1985 issue of the Bulletin of the American Physical Society. The topical conferences, held every two years since 1979, have become the principal forum for shock wave studies in condensed materials. Both formal and informal technical discussions regarding recent developments conveyed a sense of excitement. Consistent with the past conferences, the purpose of this conference was to bring together scientists and engineers studying the response of condensed matter to dynamic high pressures and temperatures. Papers covering experimental, theoretical, and numerical studies of con densed matter properties were presented. A noteworthy feature of this conference was the participation by several leading scientists engaged in static high pressure research. Donald Curran served as the Master of Ceremonies at the conference banquet, which was at tended by two hundred and seventy-five conference participants and guests including Dr. Samuel Smith, the new President of Washington State University. Dr.