The development of statistical mechanics throughout the nineteenth and twentieth century has allowed a deep understanding of systems in thermal equilibrium. However, particularly in the biophysical arena, most real-world systems are not in equilibrium. Thus the focus of statistical mechanics in the twenty-first century is firmly on systems out of equilibrium. For example, one is still very much in the dark about the nature of non-equilibrium steady states which can support currents and are not described by the usual Boltzmann distribution.
To make progress we study simple mathematical models which may admit exact solution. Major successes have been the identification of models with simple steady state structures such as factorised steady states and steady states of matrix product form. The project is to extend these exact analytical solutions through the calculation of non-equilibrium correlation functions, for example, and to identify new exactly solvable cases.
- Professor Martin Evans (School of Physics & Astronomy, University of Edinburgh)
The project supervisor welcomes informal enquiries about this project.
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