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Bridging Equilibrium and Non-Equilibrium Statistical Physics (2010-2012)

The scientific challenges of the 21st century will increasingly involve competing interactions, geometric frustration, spatial and temporal intrinsic inhomogeneity, nano- scale structures, and interactions spanning many scales. We will focus on a broad class of emerging problems that will require new tools in non-equilibrium statistical physics, building on foundations in equilibrium statistical mechanics, and that will find application in new material functionality, in predicting complex spatial dynamics, and in understanding novel states of matter. Our work encompasses materials under extreme conditions involving elastic/plastic deformation, competing interactions, intrinsic inhomogeneity, frustration in condensed matter systems, scaling phenomena in disordered materials from glasses to granular matter, quantum chemistry applied to nano- scale materials, soft-matter materials, and spatio-temporal properties of both ordinary and complex fluids.

Focus Areas

  • Self-Organized Structure: Glassy phenomena, jamming, granular materials, elastic-plastic deformation, soft materials.
  • Quenched Disorder: Superconductors, quantum phase transitions, geometric frustration, Bose Einstein condensates, graphene, nanotubes.

Highlight Publications

  • Aluie, H. Compressible Turbulence: The Cascade and its Locality Physical. 2011 Review Letters 106 174502.
  • Backhaus, S., Turitsyn, K., and R.E. Ecke. Convective Instability and Mass Transport of Diffusion Layers in a Hele-Shaw Geometry. 2011. Physical Review Letters 106 104501.
  • Daub, E.G., Shelly, D.R., Guyer, R.A., and Johnson, P.A. Brittle and ductile friction and the physics of tectonic tremor. 2011. Geophysical Research Letters 38 L10301.
  • Nisoli, C., D. Abraham, T. Lookman, and A. Saxena. Thermally Induced Local Failures in Quasi-One-Dimensional Systems: Collapse in Carbon Nanotubes, Necking in Nanowires, and Opening of Bubbles in DNA. 2010. Physical Review Letters. 104 025503.
  • Nisoli, C., J. Li, X. L. Ke, D. Garand, P. Schiffer, and V. H. Crespi. Effective Temperature in an Interacting Vertex System: Theory and Experiment on Artificial Spin Ice. 2010. Physical Review Letters. 105 047205.
  • Zhu, L. J., R. Ma, L. Sheng, M. Liu, and D. N. Sheng. Universal Thermoelectric Effect of Dirac Fermions in Graphene. 2010. Physical Review Letters. 104 076804.