£348k EPSRC Award for Uwe Grimm

Saturday, Sep 15th 2018

Congratulations to Uwe Grimm, who has been awarded a £348k grant by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) for a project entitled &ldquoLyapunov Exponents and Spectral Properties of Aperiodic Structures ”.  

Order and disorder are familiar concepts to humans. Our brains have evolved to recognise and to appreciate aspects of symmetry and order in nature, as well as in architecture, arts or music. Essentially, science is about detecting and describing ordered patterns in the world around us, and understanding them in mathematical terms.

It is thus surprising that it appears to be difficult to give a precise mathematical definition of the concept of order, and indeed there is currently no generally accepted definition available. Consequently, we lack a complete understanding of what types of order are possible, and how to classify them. 

It turns out to be useful to take a guide from nature. The type of order considered in this project is inspired by physics and crystallography, more precisely the surprising existence of intricately ordered materials called quasicrystals. Their discovery was acknowledged with the award of a Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2011. As an abstraction of the order of atoms in such materials, mathematicians have investigated the order in patterns or tilings of space.

For further details, see http://gow.epsrc.ac.uk/NGBOViewGrant.aspx?GrantRef=EP/S010335/1.

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