6-10 August, 2001, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Celebrating 20 years of the DLA model*

Inaugural Workshop of the
Michigan Center for Theoretical Physics

3d DLA pattern courtesy of R. Ball and N. Bowler

Schedule of Talks

Online Proceedings

Workshop Photo

Natural pattern formation is often limited by diffusion. Many of the complex shapes that we see in the world have this property: examples are snowflakes, lightning, and river networks. The most famous model which describes such growth (in the disorderly regime) is Diffusion Limited Aggregation (DLA) which was proposed at the University of Michigan in 1981 by T. A. Witten and L. M. Sander, who showed that the patterns formed are random fractals. This work gave rise to a vast literature -- there are over 2000 citations of the original paper . For recent informal surveys see T. Halsey, Diffusion-Limited Aggregation: A Model for Pattern Formation Physics Today, November, 2000, and L. M. Sander, 'Diffusion-Limited Aggregation, a Kinetic Critical Phenomenon', Contemporary Physics, 41, 203 (2000).

We will have a workshop/conference this summer in Ann Arbor, MI, on the campus of the University of Michigan to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the model, 6-10 August..

This field shows considerable vitality, and there has been a burst of recent activity in the area, so this is a good time to bring researchers together. It will be broader than a technical conference on DLA alone, but put it in the context of diffusion-limited processes. The subject is naturally very interdisciplinary.

List of Invited Speakers

F. Adams, University of Michigan
A. Aharony, Tel Aviv University
R. Ball, University of Warwick
J. Banavar, Pennsylvania State University
E. Ben-Jacob, Tel Aviv University
B. Davidovitch, Exxon Research and Engineering
F. Family, Emory University
D. Grier, University of Chicago
T. Halsey, Exxon Research and Engineering
M. Hastings, Los Alamos
G. Hentschel, Emory University
D. Kessler, Bar-Ilan University
H. Levine, University of California, San Diego
L. Levitov,
B. Mandelbrot, Yale University
M. Mineev, Los Alamos Laboratory
L. Pietronero, University of Rome
I. Procaccia, Weizmann Institute of Science
E. Sander, George Mason University
E. Somfai, University of Warwick
D. Turcotte, Cornell University
D. Weitz, Harvard University
T. Witten, University of Chicago

Supported by:

Michigan Center for Theoretical Physics
Center for the Study of Complex Systems, University of Michigan


We intend the conference talks to be open, and there is no conference fee. Lodging in Ann Arbor may be difficult to find for this week, so that interested parties should let us know if they need it, and we will try to help. In addition, this is intended to be a workshop, and we will try to facilitate informal interaction.

* And Len Sander's 60th Birthday.

Local Organizers: B. Orr, L. M. Sander, R. Ziff, University of Michigan

Inquiries should be directed to