Deadline: 2015-05-29

Nonequilibrium fluctuations, response and anomalous transport

Present day science and technology deal ever more frequently with objects made of a number of elementary constituents that is much smaller than Avogadro’s number, but is large enough to require a statistical approach. Nanotechnological devices and nanoscale structures of current biophysical interest, such as biopolymers, molecular motors, nanoporous membranes and colloids moving in optical traps, fall within the category of “small systems”. This mesoscopic realm cannot be described by macroscopic theories such as standard thermodynamics or hydrodynamics.
In the past decades, much progress has been done in understanding these phenomena, most notably through the development of the Fluctuation Relations, which were firstly proposed in the early 1990s and which hold even far from equilibrium. These advances are paralleled by the theories of anomalous diffusion, for issues of transport of matter, charge etc. in highly confining media and in low dimensional systems.

In this research project we will investigate theoretically and numerically several aspects of the theory of non-equilibrium systems (thermostats, response, ergodicity and mixing), analyzing suitable dynamical systems and their connection with corresponding stochastic processes. The specific research topic will be selected from one of the following: nanoscale transport; transient osmosis; measurements of temperature for graphene technology and high precision instruments (e.g. gravitational waves detectors); nonequilibrium phenomena in astrophysics; nanostructured sensors (quantum disordered systems).

The project is part of international cooperations, allowing the PhD student to visit and perform research in foreign institutions, depending on the specific application. Among the others, collaborations involve groups in Swinburne University (Asutralia), University of Queensland (Australia), Australian National University, Queen Mary College (UK), University College (UK), Xiamen University (China), Universiti Putra Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), besides various Italian universities and industrial partners.



Contact Person : Lamberto Rondon

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