Research in the Cooperative Phenomena Group is an exciting and rew arding activity. It also means hard work. By its nature, basic research often produces unexpected results, including numerous failures. All the more enjoyable is it when a research enterprise is successful and leads to new insight into a phenomenon. In this chapter, the research projects of the period 1992 -- 1997 are shortly described. These projects cover a wide scientific range, from theoretical studies of geological processes to experimental biophysics. Some of the projects are carried out as collective efforts among different students in the group and at other research institutions. Others are thesis work that was carried out by single students to earn their degrees.
Convective dispersion of a dye in a two-dimensional porous model.
The research projects are focused on the principal themes of the Cooperative Phenomena group -- irreversible growth and transport processes in complex materials. Accordingly, the manifold of short project descriptions is organized into three main sections: Studies of growth phenomena far from equilibrium, studies of non-linear transport processes, and studies of material properties. However, the partition is quite ambigious: growth and transport are intrinsically connected, and depend on the properties of the materials involved. For instance, the development of fractures in a slab of clay witnesses a growth process (the growth of defects in the clay), but the same fractures also provide information about the clay's ability to resist stress. As the number and size of fractures increases, the material properties of the slab change. The altered material may then itself become the starting point for further investigations.
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Projects and Methods