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Research Interests

Prof. Dr. Gunter M. Schütz


The interactions between polymer chains in a concentrated solution or melt of flexible polymers give rise to a rich variety of unusual properties, ranging from viscous flow on large time scales to glassy behaviour over short times. In this fascinating area of soft matter physics we investigate the reptation dynamics of entangled polymers.





Far from equilibrium there is no general prescription how to calculate the statistical properties of interacting many-body systems. We search for basic non-equilibrium principles governing steady-state selection and determining phase transitions in driven diffusive systems. These allow for the study of shocks and a variety of other collective non-equilibrium phenomena encountered in physics and beyond. dds



The transition from quantum mechanics to classical physics in non-equilibrium systems forms one of most challenging problems in condensed matter physics and statistical mechanics. Intriguing insights in aging dynamics, steady-state selection in the presence of strong currents, and other non-equilibrium phenomena of quantum spin chains can be gained from investigating simple exactly solvable models which we study analytically and numerically.  



Not only chemical systems undergo "chemical" reactions in which mobile agents undergo some kind of transformation into entities with different properties. A simple example of a physical ``reaction'' is the radioactive decay, but also biological processes such as predators hunting for prey or the spreading of diseases by infection are systems of this type. Even certain aspects of financial markets may be described by reactions in an abstract sense. Our focus is on dynamical criticality which is a common feature and which leads to the understanding of very different reaction-diffusion mechanisms in terms of universality classes, analogous to what we know from equilibrium critical phenomena.