Physics of Extreme Phenomena



Steering committee


The "extreme events" axis was defined in 2013 by a collective effort between the laboratories of the W. Döblin federation. Its scope is not rigid and its spectrum is very broad.

Extreme events are defined by the unusual conditions in which they occur. This ranges from "catastrophic" geophysical events (earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides) to extreme states of matter, such as Bose-Einstein condensates with properties very different from those of solids, liquids or gases. Another emblematic example is the phenomenon of "rogue waves" that rarely occurs but can cause damage to ships. The study of these phenomena usually requires skills and specific physical, observational, computing and mathematic tools.

These skills often cross over, and the benefit of collaboration between research teams is potentially very important.

Societal issues, such as natural risks and the management of the environment, are also part of the scope of possible applications of the themes identified in this multidisciplinary axis. So this is a challenge for the future rather than a well-defined research axis.

Each topic listed below is powered by one or more projects supported by the Döblin federation that give rise to thematic symposia. Information on these projects and symposia are available on the website of the federation.

Main topics

  •     Extreme waves
  •     Shock, fractures and ruptures
  •     Large fluctuations in un-balanced systems
  •     Interactions, reactions and transitions in extreme conditions
  •     Cross-sector topic concerning tools (instrumentation, computing, signal processing etc.)