Marec Serlin’s passion for physics originates from the notion that complexity is born from simplicity: intricate emergent behavior is often described by a few simple rules. He developed his affinity for discovering fundamental explanations while getting his PhD from the University of California, Santa Barbara, for his experimental work studying fundamental electronic phases of matter. His research exposed him to physical concepts and theories with analogs to open questions in non-linear mechanics that he is exploring in his postdoctoral research, and that may enable simple explanations of complicated phenomena.
As a postdoctoral researcher, Dr. Serlin seeks to understand the effect of defects on the buckling properties of beams, plates and shells. The load-bearing capacities of such mechanical structures, like cylindrical shells, are very sensitive to imperfections whereas others, like I-beams, are not. This imperfection sensitivity appears to be coupled to the emergence of localized deformations, though their origin and effects remain unclear.
Dr. Serlin’s research continues the recent scientific discoveries he has made in collaboration with professors at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Racah Institute of Physics, the Weizmann Institute, and UMass Amherst. The team has experts in isolated physical phenomena of nonlinear systems, stochastic and disordered system theory, and sophisticated non-linear finite element analysis. This supports Dr. Serlin’s vision of using a combination of experimental, theoretical and numerical techniques to elucidate the underlying mechanism through which imperfections compromise structural integrity.
His research could contribute to developing the kinds of robust lightweight mechanical structures that are crucial to advances in robotics, transportation, and storage structures.