Fluctuations and Coherence: from Superfluids to Living Systems

Wed 13 - Sat 16 July 2011
Lancaster University

This conference aims to bring together selected experts from different fields to discuss phenomena associated with the interplay of fluctuations and nonlinearity in complex systems.

Topics will range from quantum turbulence in superfluids, via cold atoms and nanoresonators, to stochastic transport in biological cells and cardiovascular and brain dynamics.

Emphasis will be placed on cases where important phenomena arise from the interplay between fluctuations and nonlinearity, including those originating from rare events in quantum and classical systems far from thermal equilibrium, both non-living and living. Ways of controlling rare events in different types of system will be considered.

Generic features like rate-scaling will be discussed - as will the unusual role of quantum fluctuations far from thermal equilibrium, which has no analogue in equilibrium systems.

The mechanisms underlying rare events will also be considered. They operate on all lengthscales ranging from the nanoscopic (e.g. vortices in superfluids, cold atoms, and nano-mechanical resonators), through the mesoscopic (e.g. Josephson junctions), to the macroscopic (e.g. cardio-respiratory interaction and rogue waves on the ocean). These same mechanisms are often also responsible for loss of coherence in nonlinear systems.

Selected papers derived from the Workshop resentations will be published in a special issue of Fluctuation and Noise Letters.

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