Associate professor of Mathematics and Statistics Panayotis G. Kevrekidis has been awarded a Humboldt Research Fellowship to spend up to a year in Germany. Kevrekidis will use the fellowship to visit the University of Heidelberg for at least five months this spring, where he will collaborate with colleagues at the Institutes of Physics and Physical Chemistry and at the Kirchoff Institute for Physics.
The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation is a non-profit foundation established in 1953 by the Federal Republic of Germany for the promotion of international research cooperation. It enables highly qualified scholars not resident in Germany to spend extended periods of time doing research in Germany and promotes the ensuing academic contacts.
Using a multidisciplinary approach combining mathematical analysis, fundamental physical principles, and powerful computational resources, Kevrekidis’ research focuses on Bose-Einstein condensation in gases, which form a new type of matter that exists only at extreme cold temperatures. These condensates are at the forefront of physics because their atoms behave like subatomic particles, giving physicists the opportunity to observe quantum effects at a scale visible, with magnification, to the human eye. Bose-Einstein condensates have potential relevance to such technologies as superconductivity, quantum computation and atom lasers.
“Mathematical descriptions give us a great tool to understand physical phenomena stemming from a wide range of sciences, such as physics, chemistry and biology,” said Kevrekidis. “It’s a very rewarding experience when we are able to put our strengths together to understand even small pieces of how nature works.”