For his many original and outstanding contributions to the theoretical description of deterministic and stochastic dynamics in statistical and chemical physics
Prof. Dr. Raymond E. Kapral
has been awarded the Martin-Gutzwiller-Fellowship 2003
of the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems.
From the early days of his career in the late '60s, Dr. Kapral has been interested in many issues in statistical and chemical physics. He has worked extensively on molecular dynamics of chemical reactions, theory of liquids and gases, and non-equilibrium kinetics.
In the mid '80s, he contributed to the emerging field of nonlinear dynamics by investigating coupled nonlinear oscillators, coupled maps, and homoclinic bifurcations (with P. Gaspard and G. Nicolis). In the late '80s, he made important contributions to molecular dynamics of chemical reactions by developing a new method for estimating the rate of rare events, as well as by studying ion pair conversions in polar solvents (with G. Cicotti and J. T. Hynes).
In the early '90s, his group collaborated with the Free University in Bruxelles to extend the lattice gas automata approach (originally suggested by Frisch, Pomeau and Hasslacher for hydrodynamic simulations) to reactive media. This allowed for a systematic study of internal fluctuations in reaction-diffusion and extended chaotic systems. Numerous results from this investigation are summarized in a review in Physics Report written together with J. P. Boon, D. Dab and A. Lawniczak.
Since the second half of the '90s, Dr. Kapral has devoted his attention to new topics. In particular, he has studied the molecular dynamics of binary clusters, open quantum systems, and the formation of complex patterns in extended non-equilibrium systems. In the latter field, he and his group described new phenomena including complex interfaces (with R. Livi and A. Politi), spiral wave and line defects in chaotic media, and coiling instabilities of vortex filaments in oscillatory media (with H. Chate).
In 1995, Dr. Kapral edited the book "Chemical Waves and Patterns" together with K. Showalter, which has become the standard reference for chemical pattern formation.
Dr. Kapral's talk on May 26, 2003
"Knotty problems in nonlinear dynamics"