Magneto-Fluid Dynamics Seminar

More is different, Anomalous is normal?

Speaker: Evdokiya Kostadinova, Baylor University

Location: Warren Weaver Hall 905

Date: Wednesday, March 31, 2021, 10 a.m.


In a famous 1972 publication, Philip Anderson revolutionized the philosophy of science by proposing a constructionist view of the world: he argued that the behavior of complex systems cannot be reduced to the mere interactions of elementary entities. Instead, at each level of complexity entirely new properties emerge due to the many-body interactions involved. Simply put, more is different.

While non-interacting particles move in a random fashion, called normal diffusion, interacting particles move in a less random way, called anomalous diffusion. From the spread of viruses among people to the transmission of price values in finance, anomalous diffusion is so common in the complex systems of the natural world that scientists often conclude: anomalous is normal.

In this talk, we study how the dynamics of interacting particles evolve with time as a function of scale and complexity. Our test system is a dusty plasma, or a mixture of ions, electrons, neutral atoms, and micron-sized charged particles. We argue that at critical scales within the system, anomalous dust diffusion, guided by nonlocal interactions, leads to enhancement of energy transport and increased probability for turbulent dynamics. These theoretical predictions are compared against results from many-body simulations and dusty plasma experiments conducted on board the International Space Station.

This research is funded by NSF-1903450, NSF-1707215, NASA-1571701, DE-SC0021284