Faculty members of the NYU-ECNU Institute of Physics at NYU Shanghai have recently been awarded the NYU Global Seed Grants for Collaborative Research from April 1, 2016 - March 31, 2018. The purpose of the grants is to support research that strengthens collaborations between the schools at NYU in New York and the portal campuses at NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Shanghai, to develop research capacity across NYU campuses, to gain outlook and knowledge in international settings, and possibly to serve as a platform for obtaining future external funding.
Jun Zhang, in collaboration with Leif Ristroph from NYU, has been awarded for their project of "Understanding the Hydrodynamics of Schooling Through Physical and Biological Experiments". The project's central aim is to design and carry out the first controlled experiments aimed at revealing the fluid dynamical mechanisms involved in schooling. Beyond helping to explain the structure and motion of animal groups, this work will use this locomotion context to address the broader problem of understanding the interaction of dynamic bodies with unsteady or time-dependent flows. This remains a poorly understood area of fluid dynamics and a topic of fundamental physical and mathematical interest with important practical applications, such as in harvesting flow energy from ocean waves or atmospheric turbulence.
Pilkyung Moon and L. Andrew Wray's research project "Collaborative Investigation of Novel Topological Insulator Interface Physics" has also been awarded. The project will investigate the moire interference between Topological insulators (TI) and another atomic layers, such as graphene, to investigate the possibility to give rise to anisotropic spin-polarized conductivity at TI interfaces. These superstructures are theoretically capable of violating the even/odd rule of topological surface band structures, making it possible to discover new classes of surface electronic topology.
Another two faculty members, Tim Byrnes and Matt Kleban, have been awarded for their project of "Investigating Cosmic Inflation with Quantum Information".