Theory and modelling - tribology, surface science, transport properties, nonlinear dynamics, condensed matter

Many (in fact most) systems of practical interest are moving, i.e. out of equilibrium. Transport in materials such as diffusion and friction can lead to changes over time that produce wear, damage, degradation, and loss of function. Transport properties in general, but friction in particular, are challenging theoretically, because there is no general formalism to describe them. To understand transport, we must link microscopic dynamics of particles to macroscopic averages. For equilibrium systems, the powerful formalisms of equilibrium statistical mechanics provides a framework that can be used to link the microscopic to the macroscopic. For systems with transport, which are out of equilibrium, we are stuck using ad-hoc approaches that are only valid in particular cases, and often we are forced to resort to numerical simulations.

Our aim is to develop new, general, models for transport of matter, energy, and momentum, and relate it to microscopic nonlinear dynamics. We currently focus on two types of systems:

  • molecules and nanoscale objects, especially in the context of friction, and
  • gases and liquids of various levels of complexity.

We employ computational as well as analytical methods to solve applied and fundamental problems. We collaborate with experimental as well as theoretical researchers from a wide variety of fields, ranging from chemical engineering to mathematical physics. The materials we study the most at the moment are electrolytes and polymers. More details on research activities.

This research subgroup is part of the Materials Group at the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).