Expert in: Science and society
- Computational techniques, simulation
- Biological and medical physics
- Materials science
- Science and government
- Molecular dynamics and particle methods
- Nanoscale materials and structures: fabrication and characterization
- Energy resources
- Science and society
- Protein folding: thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, models, and pathways
- Climate change policies
My work deals with the computational study of the behaviour of matter at the atomic level. I am interested in how proteins are assembled into neurotoxic structures associated with degenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. I also study the formation of nanostructures, such as the assembly of silicon nanowires under a gold droplet and the relaxation of disordered systems like glass and amorphous materials. All these systems are characterized by evolution at the atomic level over long periods, i.e. seconds or more. To be able to track this evolution, I am also working on the development of accelerated algorithms for following atomic movements over experimental times. The algorithms developed in my group are among the most efficient in the world, allowing us to study phenomena that are otherwise not easily accessible.
I am also interested in energy and natural resources issues, from shale gas and crude oil to mining resources. I have published a number of books for the general public on the topic, and supervised some students in this field.
In addition, I host a popular science program called La Grande Équation, broadcast on Radio Ville-Marie.
Lastly, I hold the Canada Research Chair in Computational Physics of Complex Materials.