Physics Seminar Series

Universal Fluctuations of Evolving Interfaces

presented by Dr. Alice Kolakowska, The University of the South

Wednesday, Dec. 14, 7:30 - 8:30pm, Woods Labs 216

Growth phenomena have been a subject of extensive studies because of their ubiquity in nature and importance in engineering and across sciences. In the past 30 years, it has been found that growth phenomena due to local processes often lead to formation of rough fractal-like surfaces and interfaces. From the scale-invariance of these interfaces, we learn about the dynamics of growth out of equilibrium. Examples of such processes include paper wetting, thin-film growth, turbulent liquid crystals, and tumor growth. Although systems may be driven by vastly different local processes, their global stochastic dynamics can be classified in just a few universality classes. In this seminar, we review the concept of universal stochastic dynamics in non-equilibrium surface growth, and look at open questions imposed by recent laboratory experiments and simulations.

Alice Kolakowska received a doctorate in Theoretical Physics and Applied Mathematics from the University of Western Ontario, Canada, and previous degrees from the University of Gdansk, Poland. Her scientific interests lie in computational and statistical physics of non-equilibrium systems, quantum physics, atomic and molecular physics, and interdisciplinary applications such as parallel algorithms for fast and faithful Monte Carlo simulations or the simulation of cell colonies to understand the dynamics of biological growth processes. She is a passionate physics teacher who has shared her knowledge with more than 3,000 students to date and contributed to education as a physics author. She has co-authored the OpenStax University Physics textbook, which was published in November 2016.

For more information: Prof. Eugene Donev (931) 598-3154 |