My research falls under the broad category of non-equilibrium statistical mechanics. Most of the statistical phenomena in nature involving large number of interacting bodies fall under this umbrella. Systems in equilibrium are characterized by time-independent thermodynamic variables like temperature, volume, free energy. But non-equilibrium systems instead are characterized by the trajectories they follow over a period of time, thus the variables used to describe the non-equilibrium process are time-dependent.
Non-equilibrium Critical Dynamics
Specifically, I explore the non-equilibrium critical dynamics or dynamics of systems undergoing continuous phase transition. I work under the supervision of Dr. Uwe C. Tauber on computational study of magnetic phase transitions. In our past project, we managed to numerically capture the stationary as well as hitherto unexplored non-equilibrium critical dynamics of isotropic antiferromagnets. To do this we have used a novel simulation technique by adding reversible mode coupling dynamics to the simplest dissipative or diffusive relaxation terms in magnetic spin models. This entails a combination of stochastic Monte Carlo and deterministic spin precession kinetics that has only very rarely been attempted before. We have thus been successfully able to numerically utilize early-time relaxation and aging-scaling properties to correctly describe the relevant universality class. To know more about this interesting work, check out our publication in PRB !
Our current endeavors involve exploring the much richer phase of anisotropic anti-ferromagnets in an external field, to specifically look at the vicinity of a multi-critical point in the limit of the system driven out of equilibrium. Ultimately, we wish to design effective control protocols to switch between different universal scaling regimes through spatially local perturbations, either instantaneous or periodic in time.
Dynamics of dyneins
Another non-equilibrium systems I am exploring is the dynamics of molecular motors inside the cytoplasm of cells. Molecular motors are responsible for carrying cargo in and out of the cell and thus understanding their motion and behavior is fun and crucial. We are specifically looking at motion of dyneins who moves with variable step-size depending on how much load it carries.