Pattern formation in space and time
At the University of Bayreuth, research on nonlinear dynamics focuses on systems in which degrees of spatial freedom play a role: i.e. a change in a spatially and temporally dependent quantity is a nonlinear function of the initial state.
Our research can be divided into mathematical "basics and methods", "model studies" (characterizing the dynamic behaviour of mathematical models using analytical and numerical methods), and "experimental investigations" (experiments from the natural sciences).
Nonlinear dynamics and structure formation in complex systems
The objective of this interdisciplinary research focus is to arrive at general principles of space-time dynamics in non-linear media. This ranges from simple and complex fluids (plasmas, liquid crystals, ferrofluids, superfluids, colloidal and granular suspensions, thin films) to "soft matter" (polymers, membranes, biological systems), a wide range of solid-state bodies (catalytic surface reactions, superconductors, magnets), and even galaxies. Geoecological and geophysical systems are also examined from the perspective of nonlinear dynamics. One crucial aspect is the recording and controlling of ordered and disordered (chaotic or turbulent) space-time structures. In addition, bifurcation and stability analysis play a central role in solving mathematical equations.
1,500 publications, 300 dissertations, 22 professorial dissertations
The focus area's research achievements are impressive. After only five years we can look back at over 1,500 publications in peer-reviewed journals that correspond with over 300 dissertations. In addition, 22 professorial dissertations at the University of Bayreuth are related to this field. The fact that the Volkswagen Foundation funds a Lichtenberg Professorship for Theoretical Physics at the University of Bayreuth also attests to the attractiveness of this focus area.
Proof of our researchers' extensive national and international networks can be found in the more than 1,000 publications co-authored by external scientists. Our international reputation is demonstrated by the fact that in the field of this focus area more than 13 Humboldt Award winners have visited the University as guests. With the help of the Krupp Foundation, the University has also recently succeeded in attracting two leading scientists from abroad. One of these scientists was awarded one of only five of the Volkswagen Foundation's "W3" Lichtenberg Professorships in Germany, thereby anchoring the collaboration agreement between the University of Bayreuth and the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics in Garching.