Stochastic Resonance in Physics and Biology: Tuning to the Noise

stochastic_resonanceLunedì 10 novembre 2014 - ore 21.00
Scuola Superiore di Catania
Aula Magna, Villa San Saverio

Il seminario si terrà in lingua inglese.

Relatore: Dr. Adi R. Bulsara
Distinguished Scientist, SPAWAR,
Pacific, San Diego, CA

Prof. Francesco Priolo
Presidente Scuola Superiore di Catania

Presenta e modera:
Prof. Salvatore Baglio
Docente di Misure elettriche ed elettroniche
Università degli Studi di Catania

ABSTRACT: Stochastic Resonance (SR) rocketed to "fashionable must-do science" status in the late 1980s; it remained "at the top of the charts" for the following decade, and is still an important niche in the noisy dynamical systems repertoire. At its core was the enticing argument that the noise-floor in a NONLINEAR dynamical system could actually be used in a creative way to enhance the system response to a weak target signal. The idea has been validated in numerous physics and engineering experiments and systems. Moreoverit has been also suggested that SR might be an important part of information processing in sensory neurons: some classes of sensory neurons are able to respond to very weak deterministic stimuli by, essentially, operating as dynamical threshold detectors; this process is impossible without the presence of the background noise-floor which is known to exist in the nervous system. Today, SR is an accepted feature in nonlinear dynamic systems subject to weak (subthreshold) stimuli; the effect is "delicate" and its application/exploitation requires a very good knowledge of the system dynamics. It has been applied to a large number of practical systems and, in the biomedical field in particular, has lead to an improvement in the life-quality of patients (particularly diabetics) by enhancing tactile response in their extremities. This speech is a journey back in time; it introduces the SR effect from a historical standpoint and recounts the heady period in the early 1990s when a fortunate few researchers experienced life in a very fast lane ... at the forefront of an exciting new area of research. We will discuss the implications of SR in areas ranging from theoretical neuroscience, to communications and other assorted applications, and will also provide some thoughts on the practitioners of "me too" science. In the end, however, the hope is to give the audience a tour of a former "hot" topic in physics, from the perspective of one of the fortunate few.

Adi Bulsara

SPEAKER'S BIO: Dr Bulsara received his PhD in Physics at the University of Texas at Austin in 1978. Currently, he is the US Navy’s SME (subject matter expert) in Nonlinear Dynamics and holds the position of Distinguished Scientist at The US Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SPAWAR) –Pacific laboratory in San Diego. He has managed a novel sensors program for the US govt. for 10 years, and is currently involved in the physics of a new paradigm for biomimetic nano sensors for magnetic field detection. He is an elected Fellow of the American Physical Society, with about 185 peer-reviewed articles in the physics and engineering literature. He is a reviewer of grant proposals for EPSRC-UK, and a reviewer for the journals Physical Review Letters, Physical Review, Physica, Physics Letters, IEEE Transactions, Science, and Nature. He has ongoing research collaborations with, Univ. of California-Berkeley, Notre Dame Univ., San Diego State Univ., Warwick Univ.-UK, Univ. di Catania-Italy, Univ di Brescia-Italy, and Univ. di Perugia-Italy. He holds 15 patents, with another 8 patents currently under review.


Per informazioni: Dott.ssa Maria Sanfilippo – email: – tel: 0952338526