Stephen Wiggins

Prof Stephen Wiggins

PhD Theoretical and Applied Mechanics

Office: 2.2a
Department of Mathematics
University Walk, Clifton, Bristol BS8 1TW, U.K.

Telephone: +44 (0)117 928-7979
Extension: 87979
Mail: s.wiggins


BSc Physics and Mathematics
Pittsburg State University (1980)
MA Mathematics
University of Wisconsin--Madison (1983)
MSc Physics
University of Wisconsin--Madison (1983)
PhD Theoretical and Applied Mechanics
Cornell University (1985)
Bachelor of Laws (Honours)
Open University (2005)


  • NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award, 1989.
  • Stanislaw M. Ulam Visiting Scholar at the Center for Nonlinear Studies, Los Alamos National Laboratory, 1989-1990.
  • ONR Young Investigator Award in Applied Analysis, 1989.


Barriers to Transport in Aperiodically Time-Dependent Two-Dimensional Velocity Fields: Nekhoroshev's Theorem and ''Nearly Invariant'' Tori (2014)
S. Wiggins and A. M. Mancho
DOI: 10.5194/npg-21-165-2014
URL provided by the author

Roaming dynamics in ion-molecule reactions: Phase space reaction pathways and geometrical interpretation (2014)
Frederic A. L. Mauguiere, Peter Collins, Gregory S. Ezra, Stavros C. Farantos, and Stephen Wiggins
Journal of Chemical Physics vol: 140 , Page: 134112
DOI: 10.1063/1.4870060
URL provided by the author

Full list of publications

Research Interests

Theoretical and Computational Nonlinear Dynamics

Mathematical methods for detecting and describing chaotic phenomena, local and global bifurcation theory, homoclinic and heteroclinic motions, Hamiltonian dynamics, phase space transport theory, computational methods for visualizing higher dimensional phase space structures, the development of a dynamical systems theory for transient and finite time phenomena.

Fluid Mechanics

The dynamical systems approach to mixing and transport problems in fluid flows. Applications to geophysical flows and fluids with microstructure, vortex dynamics, nonlinear waves. Control and optimization of chaotic advection in microfluidic applications.

Theoretical Chemistry

The dynamical foundations of reaction rate theory, and the role of resonances in phase space transport. Application in theoretical chemistry, classical dynamics of triatomic molecules, phase space structure, transport and energy flow, interaction of atoms and molecules with electromagnetic radiation.

Research Themes

Sample Research Topic

Capture of irregular moons of giant planets

We have recently discovered that irregular satellites are captured in a thin spatial region where orbits are chaotic. Dissipation switches these long-lived chaotic orbits into nearby regular (non-chaotic) zones from which escape is impossible.

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