Northeastern University professor Alain Karma is interested in the emergence of nonequilibrium patterns in nonlinear systems: work with diverse materials science and biology applications with both fundamental and practical relevance. In his research Karma and his team extensively use mathematical models and computational approaches rooted in nonequilibrium statistical physics and nonlinear dynamics.
"In the materials arena, the main thrust of my group’s research has been the development and application of phase-field methods to a wide range of interface dynamical problems with ongoing projects spanning microstructural pattern formation in alloy solidification, stress-driven grain boundary motion, and polycrystalline pattern evolution, semiconductor nanowire growth, as well as fracture phenomena and crack propagation in brittle materials," explains Alain Karma. "In biology, our efforts have focused on understanding basic mechanisms of “cardiac arrhythmias”, a term commonly used to describe irregular heart rhythms. Of particular interest is ventricular fibrillation, a turbulent rhythm that stops the heart from pumping and is the leading cause of sudden death among industrialized nations."
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