Julyan Cartwright


I am trying to understand patterns in nature. Of course, a great deal — perhaps all — of science and art might be describable in those terms; the search for order and meaning in the world is probably the ultimate aim of human knowledge. My particular approach to understanding patterns within structures is based on the mathematical toolkit of dynamical systems. There are two complementary facets to my research. The first is to push forward fundamental aspects of the theory of dynamical systems — or nonlinear science, as it's sometimes denoted — and the understanding of the interesting phenomena that spring from it, such as chaos, pattern formation, and complexity. The second is to apply these tools to comprehending how the world works. These interlocking themes of fundamentals and applications tend to feed back upon each other in interesting, nonlinear ways, in that an advance in one often leads to increased understanding in the other. My approach requires an interdisciplinary effort to work in fields that can be far removed from my own background, but I enjoy the challenge of learning new ideas, and for me the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. New and interesting problems tend to pop up at the boundaries between fields, so giving research a label implies deciding to whom a particular piece of scientific no-man's land belongs. Nonetheless, in these pages I attempt to present a reasonably concise overview of my lines of research. I also provide a list of my published work, with links to online versions of the papers. I have denoted my research "the dynamics of natural systems" because the natural world provides such a richness of problems for the physical scientist. For centuries already we have been mathematizing some fields I'm working in such as fluid mechanics and crystallography, yet still many fascinating open questions remain, and now in the 21st century the whole of the living world too is opening up to this process, which is why I find more and more of my research to relate to biological questions. Of course, I wouldn't progress very far if it weren't for the friends and colleagues who work with me; the great majority of my research is joint work with outstanding people.

  1.   lines of research

  2.    published work

  3.    album of patterns

  4.    a scientific blog

        to record thoughts and ideas that probably I wouldn't otherwise set down

(My research can also be found on Google scholar, Arxiv, Academia.edu, Researchgate, Journalogy, Mendeley, Cosis, COSNet, and CiteULike.)

Julyan Cartwright

Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas

Instituto Andaluz de Ciencias de la Tierra

CSICUniversidad de Granada

Campus Fuentenueva

E-18071 Granada, Spain