On the robustness of chemical nanoclocks

Abstract : Some chemical reactions, when maintained far from equilibrium, can give rise to a spatiotemporal organization of the molecules. The most striking example is probably the emergence of regular temporal oscillations of concentrations. Such oscillations have been observed in many instances, ranging from simple redox reactions to heterogeneous catalysis and biochemical processes. At a microscopic level, though, particles are moving in an almost erratic fashion, constantly undergoing collisional (possibly reactive) events. Somehow, order is able to emerge from that chaotic microscopic world. Recent experimental results obtained at the ULB show that such order appears already in systems containing a very low number of particles: these systems are known as chemical nanoclocks. The proposed thesis project aims at understanding the reasons behind the regularity of these nanoclocks. This work will be done in collaboration with experimentalists working on real-time atomic microscopy at the ULB. A first step will be to reconstruct the dynamics of the system from experimental measurements (phase space reconstruction) and to analyze the resulting kinetics and associated fluctuations. In a second phase, the candidate will develop a microscopic model (probably based on a stochastic description and simulations) to elucidate the characteristics of the chemical nanoclock. Mathematically proficient candidates could supplement this approach with a more formal treatment of stochastic proces
Promoteur/Supervisor : Prof. De Decker Yannick
Email : ydedecke@ulb.ac.be
Site Web/Web site :
Centre de recherche/Research center : Center for Nonlinear Phenomena and Complex Systems
Faculté/Faculty : Faculté des Sciences/Faculty of Sciences
Ecole doctorale/Graduate Colleges : Sciences/Science
Ecole doctorale thématique/Graduate School (French Only): Phénomènes non-linéaires, systèmes complexes et mécanique statistique

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