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The department began its life towards the end of 1976, when David Faiman, a Physicist, joined the BIDR and established the Applied Solar Calculations Unit, a small group of scientists who worked on various aspects of Solar Energy Research. Over the years, this group expanded in size as well as in the scope of its activities, the main idea being to apply the tools of Mathematics, Physics and Engineering to a wide range of problems of relevance in the study of the environment, and specifically, that of arid regions. In the spirit of this philosophy, work conducted in the department focuses on applied and fundamental research, with these two aspects intertwined to various degrees.

 

Current research areas are:

  • Solar Energy: conversion of solar energy to electricity, applied optics National Solar Energy Center

  • Nano-materials and Metamaterials: materials for energy conversion and storage, optoelectronic materials and interfaces, electrochemistry in ionic liquids

  • Fluid Dynamics: atmospheric and oceanic physics, dynamics of ice sheets, electro-diffusion of ions (of relevance in water desalination, and micro-fluidics)

  • Novel Physics of Water Desalination: micro and nano fluidics and electro-dialysis

  • Nonlinear Dynamics: population ecology, atmospheric science, sand dune dynamics and nonlinear waves, pattern formation, regime shifts

  • Stochastic Processes: climate research, algal biotechnology, single molecule dynamics and spectroscopy and transport through nano-channels

  • Mathematical Economics with focus on resource economics under uncertainty

  • Remote Sensing: land surface characteristic; aerosols; precision agricultureTo the Lab site.  

 

Over the years, department members have collaborated with researchers in other BIDR departments. Currently active cross-discipline projects are: pattern formation of vegetation in arid regions and its ecological implications; algal biotechnology; genetic variability in small animal populations; mathematical modeling of root systems development.

Nonlinear Physics of Ecosystems: vegetation pattern formation; biogenic crust dynamics; desertification; biodiversity 

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