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Experimental investigation of nonlinear systems in physics, geophysics, biology, and medicine: turbulence, cloud micro physics, thermal convection, cell migration and chemotaxis, cardiac arrhythmias; particle tracking, digital microscopy, high performance image processing, development of advanced measurement techniques, cell and tissue engineering, and computational analysis and modeling.
- Cornell Center for Materials Research (CCMR)
- Laboratory of Atomic and Solid State Physics (LASSP)
Nonlinear out-off-equilibrium systems impact all levels of our everyday lives from ecology, sociology and economics, to biology, medicine, chemistry and physics. Typically these systems show self-organization and complex, sometimes unpredictable spatio-temporal dynamics. Although different in detail, the temporal and spatial structure of these systems can often be described by unifying principles.
Searching for and understanding these principles is at the center of our group’s research. To achieve this goal, we are focusing on well-defined problems in the physics of fluid dynamics, of cellular biology, and of medical relevance. Currently we are investigating experimentally and theoretically pattern formation and spatiotemporal chaos in thermal convection. We study particle transport in the fully developed turbulence of simple and complex fluids with its implication to fundamental theories, but also to practical issues like turbulent mixing and particle aggregation. We collaborate on the topic of turbulence with Zellman Warhaft and Lance Collins from Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, G. Ahlers from UCSB, D. Lohse from Twente, Alain Pumir from ENS Lyon, Ray Shaw from the Michigan Tech., Holger Siebert from the Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research in Leipzig, and Joerg Schumacher from the Technical University Illmenau. Together with the cardiologists Robert Gilmour and the physicist Flavio Fenton at the Veterinary School at Cornell University, Gerd Hasenfuss at the Heart Center of the University of Göttingen, Valentin Krinski at the MPIDS, Stefan Luther at the MPIDS, and Alain Pumir from ENS Lyon we investigate the dynamics of the mammalian heart at the cellular and organ scale. In collaboration with groups at the University of California at San Diego, at the University of Göttingen, at the MPIDS and the University of Potsdam we conduct experiments in biophysics and nano-biocomplexity using micro-fluidic devices to probe and to understand the spatio-temporal dynamics of intra-cellular and extra-cellular processes.