Monday, May 19

10:00 AM-12:00 PM Wasatch A & B - Level C

Nonlinear Dynamics of Large Fluctuations

Substantial progress has been made recently in understanding large fluctuations in nonlinear systems. It came through application of the methods of nonlinear dynamics and catastrophe theory. An important concept in describing large fluctuations is the most probable, or optimal, fluctuational path to a given state. For large fluctuations, the pattern of optimal paths plays a role similar to that of the phase portrait in nonlinear dynamics. For nonequilibrium physical and chemical systems this pattern generically has singular features. Their analysis and applications of the results to the problems of escape from a metastable state and signal enhancement by fluctuating systems will be discussed.

Organizer: Mark I. Dykman
Michigan State University

10:00 The Stochastic Manifestations of Chaos
Linda E. Reichl, University of Texas, Austin
10:30 Signal Enhancement by Large Fluctuations
Peter V. E. McClintock, Lancaster University, United Kingdom
11:00 Periodic Modulation of the Rate of Noise-Induced Escape through an Unstable Limit Cycle
Robert S. Maier, University of Arizona
11:30 Critical Behavior of the Distribution of Fluctuational Paths
Mark I. Dykman, Organizer; and Vadim N. Smelyanskiy, Michigan State University

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TMP, 4/3/97 TJF, 4/15/97