Research project

CO-NEST Coarse-grained description for non-equilibrium system and transport phenomena (DFM.AD004.234)

Thematic area

Physical sciences and technologies of matter

Project area

Sistemi e materiali complessi, materia soffice, biofisica e reti (DFM.AD004)

Structure responsible for the research project

Institutes for complex systems (ISC)

Project manager

Phone number: 349505326


In the last decades, statistical mechanics pushed its frontiers to include systems which fall outside the standard equilibrium framework. Paradigmatic examples are non-equilibrium systems such as granular and active matter for which, either due to dissipative interactions or as a consequence of "self-driven motility", even basic thermodynamic quantities, e.g. temperature and pressure, are not well defined. Systems with long-range interactions, like gravitational or Coulomb ones, are another example where the standard equilibrium picture is not appropriate. Systems with local interactions can also display slow relaxation, for example because a critical point exists between the initial state and the equilibrium state or as an effect of the existence of more than one conservation law. Quandaries are present also for transport properties because of the lack of a suitable coarse-grained description that reduce the complexity of the phenomenon. This necessity emerges in the context of granular materials, or in the presence of the interplay between self-motility and advection by an external flow as well as in problems of diffusion in highly confining geometries or complex topologies.


Besides the progress in the comprehension of fundamental mechanisms, the approaches that we will develop within this project are expected to contribute to refine advanced technologies: for example, improving hydrodynamic modelling of granular matter would be key to the industrial optimization of powder transport; achieving a good control of bio-polymer transport would boost the performance on biosensors devices; understanding the interplay of self-propulsion and passive advection would improve the efficiency of bioreactors for industrial growth of motile microorganisms; the study of anomalous transport is relevant for optimising the conductive properties of electronic nanodevices.

Start date of activity



Sistemi statistici fuori equilibrio, materiale granulare e attiva, interazioni long-range

Last update: 09/12/2023