Lasse Laurson: Complexity in materials
According to Laurson, examples of complex systems include the climate, the internet and a flock of birds. It is typical of them that their large-scale behaviour cannot – at least not easily – be deduced from the properties of their elements. Instead, we have to understand the behaviour of the system as a whole.
“In many materials, we can identify several different structures that occur on different scales that affect the mechanical properties of the material, for example. It is important to develop new research methods to manage this complexity.”
Laurson's group is currently studying the use of machine learning to discover new links between material microstructure and large-scale mechanical properties and to develop new materials with the desired properties. Laurson’s second main area of research is the dynamics of magnetic interfaces in ferromagnets.
“The development of computing power has enabled the more realistic modelling of complex systems which, together with new applications for tools such as machine learning, opens new, interesting prospects for modelling complexity in materials.”