Multistability and Tipping: From Mathematics and Physics to Climate and Brain

Seminar & Workshop
19 September - 14 October 2016
(Workshop week: Tue, 4 - Sat., 8 October 2016)

Multistability means the coexistence of several stable final states (attractors) for a given set of parameters. Multistability has been found in almost all areas of science, including electronics, optics, mechanics, laser physics, chemistry, genetics, neuroscience, climate and ecology. Regions of coexistence of many stable states are critical, because small noise or any other external perturbation may switch the system from one state to any other, adding a new feature to the dynamical behavior. The critical transitions at the boundaries of multistable regions are discussed in many fields of science, but are called regime shifts in ecology or tipping points in earth system science. A great challenge is the prediction of such transitions and the identification of precursors or early warning signs. Additionally, one can also take advantage of multistability by applying control techniques, which allow for a defined switching between different states, i.e. different system performances. The conference will discuss methodological approaches to model, analyze and predict multistability and tries to bridge several disciplines.

Topics include

  • Emergence of multistability
  • Control of multistability
  • Extreme multistability
  • Synchronization in multistable systems
  • Multistability in coupled and delayed feedback systems
  • Noise-induced transitions and chaotic itinerancy
  • Indicators for critical transitions in complex systems
  • Bifurcation tipping, ramped tipping, noise-induced tipping
  • Regime shifts and tipping points
  • Pullback attractors and snapshot attractors
  • Applications in biological, ecological and social systems, Earth systems science and climate, neuron systems, genetics, medicine, physics and chemistry

Invited speakers

Ravindra Amritkar (IN)
Peter Ashwin (GB)
Ernest Barreto (US)
Syamal K. Dana (IN)
Michael Ghil (FR)
Celso Grebogi (GB)
Alan Hastings (US)
Kunihiko Kaneko (JP)
Tomasz Kapitaniak (PL)
Katharina Krischer (DE)
Christian Kuehn (AT)
Jürgen Kurths (DE)
Ying-Cheng Lai (US)
Klaus Lehnertz (DE)
Timothy Lenton (GB)
Valerio Lucarini (DE)
Cristina Masoller (ES)
Ehud Meron (IL)
Arkady Pikovsky (DE)
Rajarshi Roy (US)
Eckehard Schöll (DE)
Paul So (US)
Tamás Tél (HU)
Egbert van Nes (NL)
Evgeny Volkov (RU)
James A. Yorke (US)


Scientific Coordinators

Ulrike Feudel
(Carl von Ossietzky University, Oldenburg, Germany)

Alexander Pisarchik
(Technical University of Madrid, Spain)

Kenneth Showalter
(West Virginia University, Morgantown, USA)


Maria Pätzold
(Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems, Dresden, Germany)


Applications are welcome and should be made by using the application form on the event‘s web page (please see URL below). The number of attendees is limited. The registration fee for the international workshop is 120 Euro and should be paid by all participants. Costs for accommodation and meals will be covered by the Max Planck Institute. Limited funding is available to partially cover travel expenses. Please note that childcare is available upon request.

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Scientific Program

The event proposed is a three-week seminar combined with a workshop.

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How to reach us

Useful information for your way to the venue.

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