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Steel Colloquium on 'Non-linear Dynamics of the World'

The Indian Institute of Technology Bombay organized an Institute Lecture by Prof. Surajit Sen, Department of Physics, SUNY Buffalo


Title: Non-linear dynamics of the world

Speaker: Prof. Surajit Sen, Department of Physics, SUNY Buffalo

Date & Time :  Thursday, 13th July 2017, 5:00 pm

Venue: Room 21, VMCC


Nonlinear dynamics is some 400 years old. European monarchs of the time cared about their ships surviving the rough Atlantic waves and thus Euler, Lagrange, Newton, and many distinguished others worked on nonlinear wave equations. In 1955, Fermi, Pasta, Ulam and Tsingou were the first to examine the dynamics of a mass-spring chain where the springs were weakly nonlinear and showed that the system had great trouble equilibrating. In 1983, Nesterenko first examined impulse propagation through an alignment of elastic grains, a strongly nonlinear system, and showed these systems support the propagation of energy packets that don’t disperse called solitons/solitary waves. Since then we have learned that nonlinear systems can show unexpected clustering of unusually large amounts of energy (rogue waves or fluctuations), can be used to disperse large shock waves or effectively transmit mechanical energy and even harvest mechanical energy from noisy environments. It may even be possible to use nonlinear pulses to perform stand-off detection and imaging of shallow buried objects such as large and small landmines. The talk shall focus on the basic physics of these systems for a broader audience and highlight the multifaceted applications of broad relevance.



Parts of this work has been supported over time by the National Science Foundation and the Army Research Office. Many of the calculations have been done on the supercomputers at the Center for Computational Research at SUNY Buffalo

About the speaker:

Surajit Sen is a professor of physics at the State University of New York at Buffalo and also holds an adjunct professorship at Brock University in St Catharines, Canada. His research interests are in nonlinear dynamics of many particle systems and in applications of the same to a variety of fundamental and applied research problems. In recent years, Surajit he has been involved in sociophysics problems such as modeling social behavior in primate societies and the evolution of battles and terrorist attacks. He did his BSc(Hons)  from Presidency College, Calcutta in 1982 and completed his PhD in statistical mechanics with M Howard Lee at the University of Georgia in 1989. After postdocs at the University of Minnesota and at Michigan State University he joined  SUNY Buffalo in 1993. He is known for his work on how solitary waves interact and the consequences of the same and on nonlinear acoustics in granular materials. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and a Fellow of the American Association of Advancement of Science and remains involved in activities associated with human rights of academic scholars.