ERC Grant Serim Ilday neu beschnitten
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Crystals Far From Equilibrium

The ERC grant seeks to anticipate and govern the intricate dynamics of driven dissipative colloidal crystals that mirror characteristics of living organisms.

Living organisms embody the pinnacle of complexity within systems operating far from equilibrium. Beyond their complex structures, they display a remarkable spectrum of functions, adapt to diverse surroundings, and undergo evolutionary changes. Grasping the intricate dynamics that govern these machinery presents imposing challenges.

In her ERC project, Serim investigates these dynamics by exploring a simplified model system. In this system, colloidal particles organise into basic Bravais lattices and more intricate configurations like quasicrystals. These formations emulate traits reminiscent of living organisms, including features such as motility, self-regulation, self-replication, self-healing, and the interplay of competition for resources and cooperation in sharing them.

Serim applies the "fitness landscapes" concept, borrowed from evolutionary biology, to unravel the evolution and adaptation of her crystals within the realm of highly nonlinear and profoundly stochastic circumstances. Beyond the scope of this project, her ambition extends to extrapolating this tool – shaped by the project's findings – to a broader array of natural phenomena. This expansion seeks to enable control and prediction of both structural and behavioral transformations in these diverse natural occurrences.

Commenced in 2019, the project is endowed with funding of 1.5 million euros.

Professor Serim İlday

Since January 2023, Professor Serim İlday has assumed leadership of the “Simply Complex Lab” division at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, Ruhr University Bochum.

The Grantee

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