Thursday, 24 October, 2013
SPEAKER: Prof. Ken Elder, Oakland University
TITLE: The Formation of Patterns in Nature
ABSTRACT: In this talk I would like to discuss the ordering of spatial structures in nature. Such structures or patterns occur on all lengths scales, from density distributions in galaxies to the ordering of quantum dots on silicon wafers. The main mechanism that determines the type and scale of the patterns is the motion and interaction of defects, such as surfaces, dislocations and vortices. The talk will focus on a simple approach to modelling a class of phenomena in which the patterns are driven by free energy minimization which in turn often leads to the gradually elimination of defects.