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Mathematics of Complex and Nonlinear Phenomena (MCNP)

Mathematical theories underpinning different classes of phenomena possess a universal character, with the same mathematical equations appearing to govern phenomena of different nature. The Mathematics of Complex and Nonlinear Phenomena can therefore be seen as the seed for cross-fertilisation between different research areas and disciplines. 

Complexity and nonlinearity are often concomitant features of real-world phenomena that are commonly associated to the notion of disorder and chaos.

Unexpectedly, disordered structures and chaotic behaviours observed from fluid dynamics, classical and quantum physics to biological systems, economic and social sciences can be related, under suitable conditions, to the emergence of beautiful ordered and stable structures, as well as coherent, cooperative or cyclic behaviours.

The formation of tsunamis and rogue waves, laser pulses, turbulence of accretion disks around black holes, phase transitions from ordered to disordered states of matter are just some examples where disorder/chaos and order/coherence arise as two sides of the same coin.

Most amazingly, mathematical theories underpinning such different classes of phenomena turn out to possess a universal character so that the same mathematical equations appear to govern phenomena of (seemingly) different nature. Hence, the Mathematics of Complex and Nonlinear Phenomena (MCNP) can be seen naturally as the seed for cross-fertilisation between different research areas and disciplines.

Northumbria’s MCNP Research Group conducts interdisciplinary research aiming at impacting on challenges posed by a fast-changing world. It is engaged in ground-breaking research in the hottest areas of modern Mathematics, Physics, Biology and other sciences, including multiple international collaborations with other leading experts.

MCNP research activity focuses mainly on the advancement of mathematical methods for the extensive study of nonlinear partial differential equations and dynamical systems. This ranges from their classification to the development of analytical and numerical techniques to calculate or extract qualitative and quantitative information on their solutions, e.g. asymptotic methods, multiscale analysis, nonlinear stability analysis, bifurcation theory and methods of integrable systems.

The findings of the MCNP research group are concerned with the study of mechanisms for the formation and propagation of nonlinear classical and quantum waves, coherent and localised structures, dynamic emergence of instabilities and singularities under different regimes of dispersion and dissipation, diffraction, interference, delays, phase transitions, classical and quantum chaos, geometric structures associated to differential equations and Riemann surfaces.

Applications that are currently under investigation include the solutions of models for ferromagnetic nanostructures, topological insulators, climate components, magnetohydrodynamics, biological phenomena as cyclic rhythms in glucose regulation, liquid crystals and complex networks.

The MCNP research group has successfully received funding from EPSRC, Leverhulme Trust, London Mathematical Society. 

For further information on the work of this group, please visit the MCNP website.

Group leadership and contacts

Contact: Prof. Gennady El

Further detail is also available on the MCNP website.

Research relationships

This group is a part of the University’s multi-disciplinary research into the theme of Extreme Environments.

Research from this group will be submitted to REF2021 under UoA 10: Mathematical Sciences.

To view research papers emanating from this group, please click here to view Northumbria Research Link, our open access repository of research output from Northumbria University.


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