IST Distinguished Lecture
Landau damping: old and new
The celebrated and mysterious Landau damping predicts relaxation of the kinetic distribution of a classical collisionless plasma, without any diffusion or irreversibility. Similar predictions were later proposed in galactic dynamics by Lynden-Bell. For more than sixty years, Landau damping has been treated exclusively for the linearized model, with the exception of very partial results. In a collaboration with Villani (2011), Clément opened the door to the study of Landau damping in nonlinear dynamics, uncovering links with the KAM theory and plasma echoes. Novel developments in the last 6 years, and in particular unexpected connexions to incompressible fluid dynamics, will be discussed.
Clément Mouhot is Professor of mathematical sciences at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of the King’s College, Cambridge. He received his Ph.D. in 2004 from École Normale Supérieure de Lyon, under the supervision of Cédric Villani, and was then a researcher at the CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France) until 2010, associated with Université Paris-Dauphine and École Normale Supérieure de Paris.
His main research interest is the rigorous study of partial differential equations in kinetic theory. He has published around 50 papers in specialized mathematical journals, as well as several popularisation papers. His paper "On Landau damping" with Villani (published in 2011) was quoted in the Fields Medal laudation of Villani in 2010. He was awarded two ERC grants (2011 and 2017) and several prizes from the London Mathematical Society in 2013, the french Académie des Sciences in 2014, and the University of Cambridge in 2016. He is Associate Editor of several journals, including Journal of Statistical Physics, Communications in Mathematical Physics and Archive for Rational Mechanics and Analysis.