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Emergent Transitions in Non-equilibrium Dynamical Systems

Interdisciplinary PhD position

status: open (deadline June 15th 2023)apply here

Are you a highly motivated student with a strong interest in understanding the nature of emergent transitions in non-equilibrium dynamical systems? We are seeking an excellent and ambitious PhD candidate to carry out theoretical interdisciplinary research to understand emergent transitions in a broad class of non-equilibrium systems, especially active and externally driven systems.
Despite encouraging theoretical advances in non-equilibrium statistical physics, understanding emergent transitions in non-equilibrium dynamical systems remains challenging due to lack of a general statistical thermodynamic framework. Particularly, for active systems driven by local injection of energy, the dynamics and mechanisms of transitions proceeding via rare fluctuations is poorly understood.  Here, we propose an interdisciplinary research project which aims at developing a general theoretical framework to address the emergence and the sensitivity of transitions between non-equilibrium steady states in driven systems. To achieve this goal, we will extend the tools of stochastic thermodynamics and large deviation theory to non-equilibrium dynamical systems. Thus, the project will involve an exciting combination of concepts and techniques from mathematics, statistical physics and theoretical chemistry.
You will be embedded in the Foundations and Applications of Emergence (FAEME) research program within the Dutch Institute for Emergent Phenomena at the Faculty of Science of UvA.
You will carry out this interdisciplinary project in a collaborative setting comprised of a highly motivated team of researchers from different institutes within the Faculty of Science.  You will be supervised jointly by  Profs. Daan Crommelin and Michel Mandjes (Mathematics), Sara Jabbari-Farouji (Physics) and Peter Bolhuis (Chemistry). Building on  theoretical and computational  expertise in our groups, you will develop  and explore the foundations of the theory using simple model non-equilibrium systems, such as an active particle in a double-well potential, and then move towards more realistic models of active polymers driven by molecular motors.
What are you going to do?
You are expected to do original and fundamental research on non-equilibrium dynamical systems  combining theoretical and computational tools. You will:
  • Develop, explore and test the foundations of a theory for emergent transitions in non-equilibrium dynamical systems
  • Develop an approach for sensitivity analysis within the framework and apply to exemplary model systems
  • Attend the weekly seminar and work/discussion day of the Dutch Institute for Emergent Phenomena and participate in the activities carried out by FAEME, including workshops, annual sandpit and help with its organisation
  • Present your results in seminars, international workshops and conferences.
  • Write articles for peer-reviewed scientific journals
  • Take part in teaching efforts, special those related to the Dutch Institute for Emergent Phenomena including the course of “Emergence”, as well as supervision of interdisciplinary projects for Bachelor and Master students.
Do you have any questions, or do you require additional information? Please contact:
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