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Nils Berglund
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Nils Berglund

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Mathematics - Probability (26)
Mathematics - Mathematical Physics (13)
Mathematical Physics (13)
Mathematics - Dynamical Systems (12)
Nonlinear Sciences - Chaotic Dynamics (10)
Mathematics - History and Overview (5)
Quantitative Biology - Neurons and Cognition (3)
Physics - Disordered Systems and Neural Networks (2)
Physics - Atmospheric and Oceanic Physics (1)
Physics - Statistical Mechanics (1)
Mathematics - Optimization and Control (1)
Physics - Atomic Physics (1)
Nonlinear Sciences - Exactly Solvable and Integrable Systems (1)
Mathematics - Classical Analysis and ODEs (1)
Mathematics - Analysis of PDEs (1)
Mathematics - Combinatorics (1)
Physics - Atomic and Molecular Clusters (1)
Nonlinear Sciences - Pattern Formation and Solitons (1)
Physics - Mesoscopic Systems and Quantum Hall Effect (1)

Publications Authored By Nils Berglund

We study model spaces, in the sense of Hairer, for stochastic partial differential equations involving the fractional Laplacian. We prove that the fractional Laplacian is a singular kernel suitable to apply the theory of regularity structures. Our main contribution is to study the dependence of the model space for a regularity structure on the three-parameter problem involving the spatial dimension, the polynomial order of the nonlinearity and the exponent of the fractional Laplacian. Read More

We consider stochastic differential equations, obtained by adding weak Gaussian white noise to ordinary differential equations admitting $N$ asymptotically stable periodic orbits. We construct a discrete-time, continuous-space Markov chain, called a random Poincar\'e map, which encodes the metastable behaviour of the system. We show that this process admits exactly $N$ eigenvalues which are exponentially close to $1$, and provide expressions for these eigenvalues and their left and right eigenfunctions in terms of committor functions of neighbourhoods of periodic orbits. Read More

We study spectral Galerkin approximations of an Allen--Cahn equation over the two-dimensional torus perturbed by weak space-time white noise of strength $\sqrt{\varepsilon}$. We introduce a Wick renormalisation of the equation in order to have a system that is well-defined as the regularisation is removed. We show sharp upper and lower bounds on the transition times from a neighbourhood of the stable configuration $-1$ to the stable configuration $1$ in the asymptotic regime $\varepsilon \to 0$. Read More

We study the metastable dynamics of a discretised version of the mass-conserving stochastic Allen-Cahn equation. Consider a periodic one-dimensional lattice with $N$ sites, and attach to each site a real-valued variable, which can be interpreted as a spin, as the concentration of one type of metal in an alloy, or as a particle density. Each of these variables is subjected to a local force deriving from a symmetric double-well potential, to a weak ferromagnetic coupling with its nearest neighbours, and to independent white noise. Read More

We prove local existence of solutions for a class of suitably renormalised coupled SPDE-ODE systems driven by space-time white noise, where the space dimension is equal to 2 or 3. This class includes in particular the FitzHugh-Nagumo system describing the evolution of action potentials of a large population of neurons, as well as models with multidimensional gating variables. The proof relies on the theory of regularity structures recently developed by M. Read More

When two synchronised phase oscillators are perturbed by weak noise, they display occasional losses of synchrony, called phase slips. The slips can be characterised by their location in phase space and their duration. We show that when properly normalised, their location converges, in the vanishing noise limit, to the sum of an asymptotically geometric random variable and a Gumbel random variable. Read More

Lecture notes for a master-level applied mathematics course on stochastic processes and applications, held at the University of Orl\'eans, France. Contents: Markov chains, Poisson point processes, Markovian jump processes, queueing theory. ----- Notes d'un cours de Master 2 professionnel en math\'ematiques appliqu\'ees, donn\'e \`a l'Universit\'e d'Orl\'eans. Read More

Lecture notes for a master-level mathematics course on martingales and stochastic calculus, held at the University of Orl\'eans, France. With corrected exercises. Contents: Discrete-time martingales, stopping times, convergence theorems. Read More

We quantify the effect of Gaussian white noise on fast--slow dynamical systems with one fast and two slow variables, which display mixed-mode oscillations owing to the presence of a folded-node singularity. The stochastic system can be described by a continuous-space, discrete-time Markov chain, recording the returns of sample paths to a Poincar\'e section. We provide estimates on the kernel of this Markov chain, depending on the system parameters and the noise intensity. Read More

We prove an Eyring-Kramers law for the small eigenvalues and mean first-passage times of a metastable Markovian jump process which is invariant under a group of symmetries. Our results show that the usual Eyring-Kramers law for asymmetric processes has to be corrected by a factor computable in terms of stabilisers of group orbits. Furthermore, the symmetry can produce additional Arrhenius exponents and modify the spectral gap. Read More

Consider a dynamical system given by a planar differential equation, which exhibits an unstable periodic orbit surrounding a stable periodic orbit. It is known that under random perturbations, the distribution of locations where the system's first exit from the interior of the unstable orbit occurs, typically displays the phenomenon of cycling: The distribution of first-exit locations is translated along the unstable periodic orbit proportionally to the logarithm of the noise intensity as the noise intensity goes to zero. We show that for a large class of such systems, the cycling profile is given, up to a model-dependent change of coordinates, by a universal function given by a periodicised Gumbel distribution. Read More

We prove a Kramers-type law for metastable transition times for a class of one-dimensional parabolic stochastic partial differential equations (SPDEs) with bistable potential. The expected transition time between local minima of the potential energy depends exponentially on the energy barrier to overcome, with an explicit prefactor related to functional determinants. Our results cover situations where the functional determinants vanish owing to a bifurcation, thereby rigorously proving the results of formal computations announced in [Berglund and Gentz, J. Read More

Kramers' law describes the mean transition time of an overdamped Brownian particle between local minima in a potential landscape. We review different approaches that have been followed to obtain a mathematically rigorous proof of this formula. We also discuss some generalisations, and a case in which Kramers' law is not valid. Read More

We study the stochastic FitzHugh-Nagumo equations, modelling the dynamics of neuronal action potentials, in parameter regimes characterised by mixed-mode oscillations. The interspike time interval is related to the random number of small-amplitude oscillations separating consecutive spikes. We prove that this number has an asymptotically geometric distribution, whose parameter is related to the principal eigenvalue of a substochastic Markov chain. Read More

We consider the effect of Gaussian white noise on fast-slow dynamical systems with one fast and two slow variables, containing a folded-node singularity. In the absence of noise, these systems are known to display mixed-mode oscillations, consisting of alternating large- and small-amplitude oscillations. We quantify the effect of noise and obtain critical noise intensities above which the small-amplitude oscillations become hidden by fluctuations. Read More

We consider a Ginzburg-Landau partial differential equation in a bounded interval, perturbed by weak spatio-temporal noise. As the interval length increases, a transition between activation regimes occurs, in which the classical Kramers rate diverges [R.S. Read More

The Eyring-Kramers law describes the mean transition time of an overdamped Brownian particle between local minima in a potential landscape. In the weak-noise limit, the transition time is to leading order exponential in the potential difference to overcome. This exponential is corrected by a prefactor which depends on the principal curvatures of the potential at the starting minimum and at the highest saddle crossed by an optimal transition path. Read More

We consider a quantum two-level system perturbed by classical noise. The noise is implemented as a stationary diffusion process in the off-diagonal matrix elements of the Hamiltonian, representing a transverse magnetic field. We determine the invariant measure of the system and prove its uniqueness. Read More

We consider the dynamics of a periodic chain of N coupled overdamped particles under the influence of noise. Each particle is subjected to a bistable local potential, to a linear coupling with its nearest neighbours, and to an independent source of white noise. We show that as the coupling strength increases, the number of equilibrium points of the system changes from 3^N to 3. Read More

We consider the dynamics of a periodic chain of N coupled overdamped particles under the influence of noise, in the limit of large N. Each particle is subjected to a bistable local potential, to a linear coupling with its nearest neighbours, and to an independent source of white noise. For strong coupling (of the order N^2), the system synchronises, in the sense that all oscillators assume almost the same position in their respective local potential most of the time. Read More

We present mathematically rigorous expressions for the residence-time and first-passage-time distributions of a periodically forced Brownian particle in a bistable potential. For a broad range of forcing frequencies and amplitudes, the distributions are close to periodically modulated exponential ones. Remarkably, the periodic modulations are governed by universal functions, depending on a single parameter related to the forcing period. Read More

We consider the problem of stochastic exit from a planar domain, whose boundary is an unstable periodic orbit, and which contains a stable periodic orbit. This problem arises when investigating the distribution of noise-induced phase slips between synchronized oscillators, or when studying stochastic resonance far from the adiabatic limit. We introduce a simple, piecewise linear model equation, for which the distribution of first-passage times can be precisely computed. Read More

We consider slow-fast systems of differential equations, in which both the slow and fast variables are perturbed by noise. When the deterministic system admits a uniformly asymptotically stable slow manifold, we show that the sample paths of the stochastic system are concentrated in a neighbourhood of the slow manifold, which we construct explicitly. Depending on the dynamics of the reduced system, the results cover time spans which can be exponentially long in the noise intensity squared (that is, up to Kramers' time). Read More

This text is a slightly edited version of lecture notes for a course I gave at ETH, during the Winter term 2000-2001, to undergraduate Mathematics and Physics students. Contents: Chapter 1 - Examples of Dynamical Systems Chapter 2 - Stationary and Periodic Solutions Chapter 3 - Local Bifurcations Chapter 4 - Introduction to Chaotic Dynamics Read More

This text is a slightly edited version of lecture notes for a course I gave at ETH, during the Summer term 2001, to undergraduate Mathematics and Physics students. It covers a few selected topics from perturbation theory at an introductory level. Only certain results are proved, and for some of the most important theorems, sketches of the proofs are provided. Read More

We consider simple stochastic climate models, described by slowly time-dependent Langevin equations. We show that when the noise intensity is not too large, these systems can spend substantial amounts of time in metastable equilibrium, instead of adiabatically following the stationary distribution of the frozen system. This behaviour can be characterized by describing the location of typical paths, and bounding the probability of atypical paths. Read More

We introduce a new method, allowing to describe slowly time-dependent Langevin equations through the behaviour of individual paths. This approach yields considerably more information than the computation of the probability density. The main idea is to show that for sufficiently small noise intensity and slow time dependence, the vast majority of paths remain in small space-time sets, typically in the neighbourhood of potential wells. Read More

We investigate the properties of hysteresis cycles produced by a one-dimensional, periodically forced Langevin equation. We show that depending on amplitude and frequency of the forcing and on noise intensity, there are three qualitatively different types of hysteresis cycles. Below a critical noise intensity, the random area enclosed by hysteresis cycles is concentrated near the deterministic area, which is different for small and large driving amplitude. Read More

Additive white noise may significantly increase the response of bistable systems to a periodic driving signal. We consider two classes of double-well potentials, symmetric and asymmetric, modulated periodically in time with period $1/\eps$, where $\eps$ is a moderately (not exponentially) small parameter. We show that the response of the system changes drastically when the noise intensity $\sigma$ crosses a threshold value. Read More

The slow drift (with speed $\eps$) of a parameter through a pitchfork bifurcation point, known as the dynamic pitchfork bifurcation, is characterized by a significant delay of the transition from the unstable to the stable state. We describe the effect of an additive noise, of intensity $\sigma$, by giving precise estimates on the behaviour of the individual paths. We show that until time $\sqrt\eps$ after the bifurcation, the paths are concentrated in a region of size $\sigma/\eps^{1/4}$ around the bifurcating equilibrium. Read More

We treat the classical dynamics of the hydrogen atom in perpendicular electric and magnetic fields as a celestial mechanics problem. By expressing the Hamiltonian in appropriate action-angle variables, we separate the different time scales of the motion. The method of averaging then allows us to reduce the system to two degrees of freedom, and to classify the most important periodic orbits. Read More

The slow passage through a Hopf bifurcation leads to the delayed appearance of large amplitude oscillations. We construct a smooth scalar feedback control which suppresses the delay and causes the system to follow a stable equilibrium branch. This feature can be used to detect in time the loss of stability of an ageing device. Read More


We give a nontechnical description of the behaviour of dynamical systems governed by two distinct time scales. We discuss in particular memory effects, such as bifurcation delay and hysteresis, and comment the scaling behaviour of hysteresis cycles. These properties are illustrated on a few simple examples. Read More