2012 Fall Graduate Colloquium Series: Dr. Jeffrey Olafsen

DateSeptember 14, 2012Time3:35 - 5:00 pm
LocationBaylor Sciences Building, Room E.125
Jeffrey Olafsen, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Physics

The Weather in London, and other Nonlinear Systems

Nonlinear and Non-equilibrium systems are contemporary areas of study in physics recently enhanced by the advent of inexpensive computing power to run numerical simulations to compare with experiments. Indeed, a strong interplay exists in the field of what is broadly called “Soft Condensed Matter Physics” between theorists and experimentalists as they grapple with many of the open questions in the community. One of the hallmarks of both nonlinear and non-equilibrium systems is the search for universality classes – systems that at first glance appear to be drastically different but share the same fundamental physics resulting in identical systems of dynamical equations. This universality allows tabletop versions of the underlying physical systems to be studied to better understand all of the systems that belong to the same dynamical class. One feature that the systems share is a sensitivity to initial conditions due to dynamic instabilities. Because of this characteristic, the systems are completely deterministic but can only be uniquely predicted over short periods of time (like the weather). An overview will be given of several efforts in the research group at Baylor University.

For more information contact: Dr. Linda Olafsen 254-710-2541

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