Equilibrium and Non-equilibrium statisticalphysics; Single molecule spectroscopy; Non-linear dynamics; Climate predictions.
Nonlinear physics of pattern forming systems: applications to energy devices, physical chemistry and biology
Statistical mechanics; Distribution of galaxies; River networks
Physics of environmental processes:Nonlinear dynamics; Stochastic processes;Irreversible Themodynamics of heat & masstransfer processes
Mechanisms of Species Diversity Change in Stressed Environments (Meron's Group)
The impacts of environmental changes on species diversity, and thus on ecosystem function and stability, is a central topic of current ecological research. At the landscape scale, where symmetry breaking vegetation patterns appear, a transition from one pattern state to another may take place (Animation). Using a mathematical modeling approach, we developed a theory of plant communities in water limited system, and are currently using it to highlight mechanisms of species diversity change in response to climate changes and disturbances.
Nonlinear Dynamics and Biological Applications (Yochelis's Group)
Biological systems show a plethora of fascinating self-organized behaviors that range from organ to cellular levels, such as spiral waves, pulses, synchronization, and steady states that are periodic in space. These non-equilibrium phenomena emerge through either spontaneous or forced symmetry breaking mechanisms. Employing nonlinear dynamics methods, we attempt to understand specific cases (localized waves in the inner ear) as well as gain general insights into the emergence of traveling waves with motivation taken from molecular motors, actin polymerization and cardiac system.
Soft Matter Physics and Renewable Energy (Yochelis's Group)
Most renewable energy devices exploit nano-scale morphologies that are paramount to large surface area, required to increase activity. However, electrical effects are often strong enough to influence the structure of active layers of those materials leading to a notorious decrease in performance. To date, theoretical studies have dealt almost exclusively with uncoupled models of self-assembly and electrokinetics. We develop novel and computationally amenable mean-field frameworks that do unify them. Our expectations are to advance devices, such as batteries, supercapacitors, and solar cells.