Grand Challenge NetworkPlus in Emergence and Physics Far From Equilibrium 2016-19

Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester
Department Name: Physics and Astronomy

Abstract

A few grams of any material contain a bewildering number of individual particles. Interactions between these particles give rise to a vast array of emergent phenomena which cannot be understood from looking at any of the particles in isolation. An important example of this is superconductivity, which enables materials to conduct electricity without resistance. Novel emergent states also occur out of equilibrium, due to the presence of large external forces or the occurrence of extreme events. Examples include turbulence in fluids and plasmas, the spreading of epidemics and diseases, and shocks in the stock market.

The above examples illustrate the breadth of this nationally and internationally recognised "Grand Challenge" in Emergence and Physics Far From Equilibrium. Addressing this Grand Challenge requires a coordinated approach, spanning different areas of physics and related disciplines. The Network will facilitate cross-cutting workshops and advanced working groups to enable UK researchers to plan and carry out targeted research programmes. Pump-prime initiatives and interaction with industry will stimulate collaborative research, ensuring UK competitiveness in this far-reaching field.

Planned Impact

This Network has been designed to generate far-reaching impact in the Grand Challenge area of Emergence and Physics Far From Equilibrium. Developments in this field will lead to step-changing advances in a wide range of industrial and technological applications, with direct relevance to consumers and the public. The non-academic beneficiaries of this Network are:

1. Industry
Understanding emergent phenomena and physics far from equilibrium is of relevance for manifold applications in industry and technology including: (i) flows of fluids with applications in the oil and gas industry; (ii) soft matter physics with applications in the consumer goods, food and cosmetics industries; (iii) plasma turbulence with applications in fusion and energy sources; (iv) the dynamics of quantum systems with applications to new materials and devices; (v) biological processes with applications in the pharmaceutical industry and in healthcare; (vi) stochastic modelling of social and economic systems with relevance to government and the financial services industry. Further examples can be found in the Letters of Support from our industrial partners.

2. The public
The advances in the industrial applications and technologies described above will be of direct benefit to the public. For example, developments in fusion research hold the prospect for cleaner sources of renewable energy. Quantum devices have the potential to underpin future computing technologies, based on faster and smaller architectures. Advances in modelling epidemics will help to devise better vaccination strategies. Characterising biological processes will lead to better diagnostic tools and treatment in healthcare. A better understanding of economic systems can mitigate risk in financial markets. On immediate timescales the public will also benefit directly from our outreach activities. Participants in our public engagement events will be exposed to the breadth of scientific challenges and ideas in this area, and their ramifications for society. This will enhance public awareness of research conducted in UK institutions, and enthuse the next generation of researchers.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description This is a Network grant, continuing an earlier EPSRC Network on Emergence and Non-equilibrium Physics. The 2016-19 Network has run a number of events, workshops and conferences, including three General Network Discussion Meetings and mutiple Focus Workshops. Two Pilot Research Project have been funded from the Network and is currently in progress. A web page has been set up at www.emneq.org
Exploitation Route The purpose of the Network is to strengthen the UK community in the area of Emergence and Physics Far From Equilibrium, and to develop research strategies for the future. We have successfully integrated the quantum and classical communities in this area.
Sectors Creative Economy,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Environment,Financial Services, and Management Consultancy,Healthcare,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology,Transport

URL http://www.emneq.org
 
Description Industrial partners 
Organisation D Wave Systems
Country Canada 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution The NetworkPlus has a number of industrial partners, see www.emneq.org.
Collaborator Contribution Industrial partner have contributed to Network events, e.g. David Snoswell from Schlumberger at the General Network Discussion Meeting in 12/2016, and Haig Farris (D-Wave) at the General Network Meeting in 12/2017.
Impact See above. Contributions to Network Events.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Industrial partners 
Organisation Schlumberger Limited
Department Schlumberger Cambridge Research
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The NetworkPlus has a number of industrial partners, see www.emneq.org.
Collaborator Contribution Industrial partner have contributed to Network events, e.g. David Snoswell from Schlumberger at the General Network Discussion Meeting in 12/2016, and Haig Farris (D-Wave) at the General Network Meeting in 12/2017.
Impact See above. Contributions to Network Events.
Start Year 2016