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Center for Nonlinear Phenomena and Complex Systems

Complexity addresses from a unifying point of view a large body of phenomena occurring in systems composed of interacting subunits. It constitutes a highly interdisciplinary, fast-growing branch of science and provides a privileged interface between mathematical and physical science on the one side and real-world complex systems on the other, as encountered, in particular, in life sciences. The Center is devoted to research on complex systems and the related fields of nonlinear science, statistical physics, thermodynamics, physical chemistry, systems biology, and simulations techniques. It contributes to the promotion of these topics thanks to training and visitor programmes, meeting organization, and the participation to national and international projects. It is composed of researchers of the academic staff of ULB, permanent FRS-FNRS researchers, postdoctoral researchers and graduate students. It is attached to the departments of physics, chemistry and biology of organisms of the Faculty of Sciences, as well as to the department of chemistry and material science of the Faculty of Applied Sciences.

TIPs - Fluid Physics

At the TIPs (Transfers, Interfaces and Processes) Department of ULB, the main goal of the ongoing research is to develop new theoretical, numerical and experimental methods allowing to understand and predict the behavior of multiphase systems, and to design or optimize industrial processes dedicated to the transformation of matter (mineral, organic or biological) and energy. There are essentially six main research themes : mixing, gas-liquid mass transfer, dynamics of interfaces and their instabilities, wetting, porous media, heat transfer and phase change (evaporation, crystallization, ...). The Department is made of two complementary research units : the Fluid Physics Unit and the Chemical Engineering Unit. The Fluid Physics Unit collaborates with a number of scientific and industrial partners in Belgium, Europe, USA, Israel and Canada, in the frame of several networks funded by the European Commission or by the European Space Agency, and also thanks to support at National level (BELSPO, FNRS, Brussels and Walloon Regions). The team investigates mostly fundamental and/or generic questions, i.e. common to several natural or industrial processes. Studied problems most often involve notions of nonlinear dynamics, physical chemistry (equilibrium and non-equilibrium), statistical mechanics, transport phenomena, applied mathematics, ... The used tools are either theoretical (stability analyses, scaling laws, asymptotic techniques, ...), numerical (commercial or 'home-made' software), or experimental (fluid behavior visualization by interferometry, Schlieren, infrared thermography, ...).


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