David Goodings
David Goodings
Professor Emeritus
David Goodings was educated at the University of Toronto and Cambridge University. Following postdoctoral positions at the Atomic Energy Research Establishment, Harwell, U.K. and the University of Pittsburgh, he taught for several years at the University of Sussex and at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon. In 1969 he joined the Physics Department at McMaster. For many years he was a condensed matter theorist, working on the electronic structure of metals and alloys, the magnetic properties of rare earth metals and compounds, and molecular crystals.

Dr. Goodings research interests are now in the area of nonlinear dynamics and chaos theory, particularly in the active field known as "quantum chaos". What is of central interest is to study the quantum analogs of classically chaotic systems. Using as an example a model of a billiard bouncing elastically in a wedge while subject to a constant downward force, he and graduate student Tom Szeredi showed how all the dynamical features of this classically chaotic system can be extracted from a knowledge of the quantum energy eigenvalues. They have also investigated the more difficult problem of going in the other direction, that is, of calculating approximate quantum energy eigenvalues from a knowledge of the (chaotic) classical dynamics. Current research is focussed on a scheme for incorporating the Heisenberg uncertainty principle into the classical-quantum correspondence.

In collaboration with people in cardiology at the McMaster Medical Centre, Dr. Goodings and graduate student Julie Lefebvre have used chaos theory to study normal heart rhythms. Their research has shown that there is an element of deterministic chaos in normal heart rhythms, although the evidence is not strong or persistent.
Nonlinear dynamics and chaos theory
Go Back
McMaster University - Faculty of Science | Physics & Astronomy