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PHYSICS SEMINAR: Study of environmental noise effects on simple chemical systems using field theory

February 22 @ 3:00 pm

Jean-Sébastien Gagnon
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences
Harvard University

Chemistry is all around us. Life itself is based on complex chemical reactions. An interesting question to ask is “How did life arise on Earth?” A key component to understand life’s origin is the interaction of simple chemical systems with their environment. Said differently, how environmental conditions such as temperature, radiation, mechanical noise, etc. can affect the behavior of chemical reactions? In this talk, I will present a theoretical method that can be used to study the effect of environmental fluctuations on a chemical system. The method (based on field theory and renormalization) is borrowed from condensed matter and particle physics. We apply our method to a simple cubic autocatalytic chemical reaction and study the effect of environmental fluctuations (noise) on its behavior. Our results show that noise may be used to probe and/or control chemical reactions, and in the future may help tackle questions about the process of life itself.

Snacks, coffee and refreshments will be served.


February 22
3:00 pm
Event Categories:


Hamilton 303


Physics Department
819-822-9600 ext. 2355