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Developments in Experimental Pattern Formation


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8th August 2005 to 12th August 2005

Organisers: Robert Ecke (Los Alamos), Alastair Rucklidge (Leeds), Harry Swinney (Austin, Texas).

Supported by the European Commission, Sixth Framework Programme - Marie Curie Conferences and Training Courses - MSCF-CT-2004-516558

Workshop Theme

Patterns are observed in a wide variety of natural systems, including animal coat markings, cloud formations and sand dune ripples. They can also be studied in laboratory experiments, such as thermal convection in a layer of fluid heated from below, nonlinear optics, chemical reactions, surface catalysis, and the Faraday experiment of a vertically vibrating layer of fluid or sand. Remarkably, it turns out that these different systems generate very similar patterns. Advances in experimental techniques and computing power have enabled attention to be focussed on larger domains. Unexpectedly, this has led to the identification of new kinds of spatially extended structures (for example 'spiral defect chaos' and 'quasipatterns') for which theoretical understanding is very much lacking. The aim of this workshop is to bring together experimentalists and theoreticians working on pattern formation, particularly on patterns formed in large domains, with an emphasis on examining key experimental results and discussing the interesting and challenging unsolved problems.

University of Cambridge Research Councils UK
    Clay Mathematics Institute London Mathematical Society NM Rothschild and Sons