CNCS Center for Nonlinear and Complex Systems
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Anna L Lin, Assistant Professor of Physics

Please note: Anna has left the "CNCS: Center for nonlinear and complex systems" group at Duke University; some info here might not be up to date.

Contact Info:
Office Location:  285 Physics
Office Phone:  +1 919 660 2546
Email Address: send me a message
Web Page:

Research Interests: Experimental Condensed Matter Physics, Nonlinear dynamics, biological physics

Our research focuses on discovering and understanding the spatio-temporal dynamics of biological and chemical systems driven far from their thermodynamic equilibrium, the physical condition necessary for life to occur. Our research is highly interdisciplinary, applying the perspective and understanding of physics to the study of chemical and biological systems such as the brain or a collection of cancerous cells. We develop quantitative descriptions of pattern formation and non-equilibrium transition phenomena with the aim of contributing to a fundamental understanding of the collective, self-organizing mechanisms at work in complex systems. Current research topics include synchronization studies of externally-forced, spatially-extended chemical oscillators which model the dynamics of excitable tissue such as the heart and brain, and investigations of the collective response of a population of individuals ({\E. coli} to external conditions that vary in space and time, as is often the case in nature. The experiments described above are modeled using nonlinear reaction-diffusion equations. We use the numerical simulations to provide new insight on observed experimental phenomenon and to help guide our experiments. In the future we will apply the analysis tools developed in our current research to study real neural network signaling patterns, intercellular spatio-temporal communication mechanisms, and the dynamics of combustion.

Current Ph.D. Students   (Former Students)

  • Zheng Gao  
Postdocs Mentored

  • Anne Catlla (September, 2005 - present)  
  • Linda Smolka (December 12, 2003 - June 30, 2004)  
  • Eric Monson (2002/08-present)  
Recent Publications   (More Publications)

  1. Bradley Marts, Ehud Meron, Aric Hagberg and Anna L. Lin, Resonant and Non-Resonant Patterns in Forced Oscillators, Chaos, vol. 16 no. 3 (September, 2006) (article number 037113.)
  2. Anne J. Catllá, David G. Schaeffer, Thomas P. Witelski, Eric E. Monson, and Anna L. Lin, On Spiking Models for Synaptic Activity and Impulsive Differential Equations, SIAM Review (Submitted, 2006)
  3. April C. Horton, Bence Rácz, Eric E. Monson, Anna L. Lin, Richard J. Weinberg, and Michael D. Ehlers, Polarized Secretory Trafficking Directs Cargo for Asymmetric Dendrite Growth and Morphogenesis, Neuron, vol. 48 (December 8, 2005), pp. 757-771
  4. Aric Hagberg, Bradley Marts, Anna L. Lin and Ehud Meron, Bloch-Front Turbulence: Theory and Experiments, Physica A, vol. 365 (2005), pp. 88-94
  5. Linda B. Smolka, Bradley Marts and Anna L. Lin, Effect of Inhomogeneities on Spiral Wave Dynamics in the Belousov-Zhabotinsky Reaction, Phys. Rev. E, vol. 72 no. 056205 (2005)