Chair in Physics of Life Sciences


Contact Details

work +44 (0)1224 272301
The University of Aberdeen Meston Building, office 332
Web Links


Professor Antonio Politi earned the Laurea in Physics at the University of Florence in 1978 with a Thesis  on Two-photon optical bistability. Three years later in 1981, he became Researcher (equivalent to Assistant Professor) at the Istituto Nazionale di Ottica (INO) in Florence and he kept that position until 1992, when he was appointed Chief Researcher (equivalent to Associate Professor). Meanwhile, he was visiting scientist at IBM Ruschlikon (1986), and at Drexel University (Philadelphia, 1988). From 1994 to 2005, he managed the Quantum Optics section of INO. In 2001 he was appointed Director of Research (equivalent to Full Professor) at INO, and he kept the position until 2005, when he moved to found the Florence section of the newly established CNR Institute for Complex Systems (ISC). Meanwhile, he was visiting professor at the University of Marseille, Nice and at the Ecole Normale Superieure in Lyon. Since 2007, he is visiting professor at the University of Strathclyde. In 2010 he has co-founded the  joint Israeli-Italian Laboratory for Neuroscience (an initiative between ISC and the Tel Aviv University). In 2011, he was invited to joint the University of Aberdeen as the 6th Century Chair in the Physics of Life Science.

Since 1998, he is associate editor of the Chaos and Nonlinear Dynamics section of Physical Review E. From 2006 to 2011, he was Editor of the Chaos and Complex-Systems section of the Journal of Physics A. Prof. Antonio Politi has co-authored with R. Badii a book on Complexity: hierarchical structures and scaling in physics (published by CUP in 1998). He has written a chapter devoted to Complex Systems of the book The New Physics for the 21st century, edited by Gordon Fraser
(CUP, 2006).

Antonio Politi has been elected Fellow of the Institute of Physics and of the American Physical Society. In 2004 he was awarded the Gutzwiller Fellowship from the Max-Planck Institute for Complex System in Dresden; in 2011 he was awarded the Senior Humboldt Prize. He has published more than 160 papers, receiving more than 7500 citations and an H-index 44 (Google-scholar).


Research Interests

Nonlinear dynamics and non-equilibrium statistical mechanics. More precisely: (i) characterization of low- and high-dimensional chaos (fractal structure, instabilities); (ii) transport phenomena in chains of nonlinear oscillators; (iii) collective dynamics in ensemble of (neural) oscillators.

Current Research

Coupled transport phenomena (i.e., when two or more currents are simultaneously active - e.g. heat and mass).

Covariant Lyapunov vectors to characterize a collective dynamics.

Onset of non-trivial collective behaviour in networks of neural oscillators.


The main ongoing collaborations with: Prof. A. Pikovsky (Potsdam University, Germany) on Lyapunov exponents; Dr. H. Chate (CEA, Saclay) on covariant vectors; Prof. R. Livi (University of Florence) and Dr. S. Lepri (CNR-ISC, Florence) on heat transport; Dr. A. Torcini (CNR-ISC) on neural dynamics.


Further Info

Admin Responsibilities

Director of the Institute of Pure and Applied Mathematics (IPAM) in Aberdeen.



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