When does it rain when air is oversaturated with moisture? How does an infection spread among the population? The problems that mathematician Professor Frank den Hollander tries to solve come from physics, chemistry and biology.
This project focusses on systems consisting of a large number of random components that interact locally but exhibit a global dependance, resulting in phase transitions and associated critical behaviour.
Typically, the components of these systems are subject to a simple and well understood microscopic dynamics. The challenge lies in understanding the complex macroscopic phenomena that may arise from this dynamics. The project combines large deviation theory and variational calculus with space-time coarse-graining and scaling techniques.
It focuses on ve classes of highly complex random interacting systems:
- Polymer chains
- Porous domains
- Flipping magnetic spins
- Lattice gases
- Evolving random media