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Ioannis Kourakis | Queen's University Belfast - Irlanda do Norte


This is a theoretical research proposal of the highest originality, bringing together experienced researchers from Sao Paulo, Brazil and from Belfast, UK, both experts in their respective fields, namely Nonlinear Dynamics and Plasma Physics. The field of Nonlinear Dynamics is highly inter-disciplinary: it applies to the study of emergent structures in Nature, subject to a balance among ubiquitous generic mechanisms: dispersion and nonlinearity mainly, but also gain (forcing), loss (dissipation), noise, wave-wave interactions and others. It has a wide spectrum of applications in science and technology, ranging from hydrodynamics (ocean waves, tsunamis) and telecommunications (optical pulses in nonlinear fibers) to biology (e.g. signal transmission across macromolecules in membranes and in DNA) and metamaterials (e.g., light pulses in negative-refractive- index composite materials), to mention only a few. The host in Sao Paulo has a long experience in this field. Charged matter (plasmas) are literally everywhere: in technological devices, in nanomaterial structures, iD the interstellar medium, in planetary atmospheres, and elsewhere. Plasma Science is therefore relevant in a wide range of contexts, e.g. in energy production schemes (fusion devices, tokamaks), in Space Plasmas, in industrial technological applications, in medical physics (immunization schemes via plasmas, cancer ion-beam therapy) etc. The Visiting Researcher has massive experience in nonlinear plasma physics, with decades' presence in the field of modelling electrostatic and electromagnetic pulses, shocks and instabilities in laser-plasma interactions and in Space Plasmas, mainly. The proposed research will consist of a series of analytical and computational investigations, aiming to elucidate the conditions of occurrence of extreme-amplitude excitations (so called Freak Waves, or Rogue Waves, RW) in large ensembles of charged particles (plasmas). This is a growing field in the interface between plasma physics and nonlinear science, with only 2 experiments having been reported to date (in articles in PRL and in Nature), and a growing interest arising worldwide. Drawing inspiration from these experiments, we plan to investigate the effect of plasma configuration, in addition to other mechanisms (beam-plasma interactions, wave-coupling, dissipation via collisions, …) on the characteristics and the dynamical profile of electrostatic RWs. (AU)

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