HOME / Departments / Physics / Statistical Physics
Statistical Physics

 Hiizu Nakanish, Professor
 Kiyohide Nomura, Associate Professor
 Takahiro Sakaue, Assistant Professor
 Our group studies equilibrium and nonequilibrium statistical physics theoretically on various systems. Recent research topics include granular media, polymer physics, stochastic processes, biophysics, lowdimensional quantum systems, application of quantum field theory on statistical physics.
 Shear thickening in granularfluid mixture
 Nonequilibrium dynamics of single polymers
 Statistical mechanics of ring polymer solutions
 Electrorheological effect in binary fluids
 Low dimensional quantum systems
1. Shear thickening in granularfluid mixture:
Dense granulefluid mixture is called dilatant fluid and often shows severe shear thickening; its viscosity discontinuously increases by orders of magnitude under shear stress. We have developed a phenomenological model for its macroscopic behavior and found that the medium may show shear thickening oscillation, namely, the oscillation between thickened and relaxed states under a constant external state in a certain range[1]. This oscillation had never been reported, thus we constructed a experimental setup for this purpose and demonstrated the medium actually shows the oscillation as we predicted[2]. We also demonstrated that the thickening appear in the region of tensile stress[3].
[1] H. Nakanishi, S. Nagahiro, and N. Mitarai, Phys. Rev. E 85, 011401 (2012).
[2] S. Nagahiro, H. Nakanishi and N. Mitarai, EPL 104 (2013) 28002.
[3] S. Nagahiro and H. Nakanishi, submitted. arXiv:1511.05250
2. Nonequilibrium dynamics of single polymers:
We study the dynamic of a long flexible polymer driven by various external forces. A key example is the translocation of biopolymers, i.e., the threading of DNA, RNA and proteins through a narrow pore. We have pointed out that in typical experiments, the translocation process takes place in the condition farfromequilibrium accompanying of large conformational distortion (Fig. 1). We elucidated the underlying physics in term of the tension propagation along the chain backbone, and constructed a basic framework to describe such a highly nonequilibrium process [1].
The concept of tension propagation is important in various problems in polymer dynamics, including a stretching process by tensile force [2] and a rotation around a bar driven by torque [3]. A conceptually similar dynamics can be seen in the compression dynamics of nanochannel confined DNA, where the stress propagation manifests itself as the development of concentration shock wave [4].
[1] T. Sakaue, Phys. Rev. E. vol. 76 (2007) 021803; ibid, vol. 81 (2010) 041808.
[2] T. Sakaue. T. Saito and H. Wada, Phys. Rev. E. vol. 86 (2012) 011804.
[3] M. Laleman et al., Macromolecules. vol. 49 (2016) 405.
[4] A. Khorshid et al. Phys. Rev. Lett. vol. 113 (2014) 268104.