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Research in the Center for Nonlinear Dynamics concerns complex dynamics, instabilities, chaos, and pattern formation in systems driven far from thermodynamic equilibrium. Diverse systems exhibit remarkably similar, sometimes even universal behavior. Studies in this Center include: solid, fluid, chemical, granular, low-temperature gas, chemical, and biological systems involve laboratory experiments, numerical simulations, and theoretical analyses. Problems currently being examined include instabilities at fluid interfaces, dynamics of fluidized beds, spatial patterns and shock waves in granular flows, pattern formation in chemical reaction-diffusion systems, internal waves, crack propagation in crystalline and amorphous materials, student flows, quantum chaos with ultra-cold atoms, nonlinear dynamics of bose condensates, general methods of laser cooling, biopolymer mechanics, Brownian motion, cell mechanics, molecular motors, intracellular transport, super-resolution microscopy, biofilm formation, bacterial competition, and biological membranes.

The group includes five faculty members, four postdoctoral research associates, about thirty graduate students, and a dozen undergraduates. The nonlinear dynamics group meets together on Mondays and Wednesdays at 1:00 p.m.; on Mondays, a seminar is presented, usually by a visitor, and on Wednesdays, a student presents his or her research. These meetings are open to all and are listed on http://chaos.utexas.edu/talks.



Current Core Physics Faculty

  • Ernst-Ludwig Florin, Ph.D., Technische Universität München, 1995.

    Associate Professor of Physics | Chair, Graduate Welfare Committee.

    Experimental biophysics, nonlinear dynamics.

  • Michael P. Marder, Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara, 1986.

    Professor of Physics | Executive Director, UTeach.

    Director, Center for Nonlinear Dynamics (CNLD).

    Nonlinear dynamics; statistical physics of Nonlinear Dynamics and Complex Systems, Physics and other solids.

  • Vernita Gordon, Ph.D., Harvard University, 2003.

    Associate Professor of Physics | Provost's Teaching Fellow.

    Experimental biophysics, experimental soft condensed matter

  • José Alvarado, Ph. D., Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, 2013.

    Assistant Professor of Physics.

    Active matter, fluid mechanics, robotics.

  • Philip J. Morrison, Ph.D., University of California, San Diego, 1979.

    Texas Atomic Energy Research Foundation Professor of Physics.

    Plasma physics; mathematical physics; fluid dynamics; Hamiltonian dynamics; computational physics.

  • Mark G. Raizen, Ph.D., The University of Texas at Austin, 1989.

    Sid W. Richardson Foundation Regents Chair in Physics #2.

    Atomic, molecular, and optical physics; atom optics; quantum chaos.

  • Dave Thirumalai, Ph.D., University of Minnesota, 1982.

    Marvin K. Collie-Welch Regents Chair in Chemistry | Professor of Chemistry and Physics.

    Biophysics, cancer, computational biology, molecular biology, physical chemistry, physical science, structural biology.


Professors in Other Departments

Emeritus and Retired Physics Faculty

  • J.B. Swift, Ph.D., University of Illinois, 1968.

    Professor Emeritus of Physics

    Studies of nonlinear dynamics; phase transitions.

  • H.L. Swinney, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, 1968.

    Boltzmann Medal, 2013 | Sid W. Richardson Foundation Regents Chair Emeritus in Physics #3

    Equilibrium and nonequilibrium phase transitions; dynamics of nonlinear systems.