Professor P. S. Krishnaprasad (ECE/ISR) and Professor Christopher Jarzynski (Chem-Biochem/IPST) are part of a new Army Research Office Multi-University Research Initiative (MURI) grant, "Information Engines: Nanoscale Control, Computing and Communication out of Equilibrium." The five-year award was recently announced by the Department of Defense.
Drawing on four distinct perspectives--computational mechanics, nonequilibrium thermodynamics, control theory, and nanoscale experiments--this project will investigate fundamental principles and algorithms for the creation of synthetic nanosystems that are able to gather, store, and manipulate information while immersed in a thermally noisy environment. Such capabilities appear to be a basis for achieving directed nanoscale flows of matter and energy. The team's research is also expected to yield insights into bio-molecular complexes with similar functionality.