Complex Systems & Random Networks


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F. Vistulo de Abreu

Assistant Professor of Physics (PhD 1999, Paris)
Campus Universitario de Santiago, 3810-193 Aveiro
Phone: 234-378-xxxx
Lab Phone: 234-378-104


Currently I am working in biologically motivated problems.

1. I found and developed the concept of a Physical Pseudoknot, which is a very stable localized entanglement, which can be formed with high probability in helical structures due to a mechanical ratchet mechanism.

2.  Theoretical Immunology: I proposed a theory for explaining how the immune systems discriminates self from nonself. This theory uses a new concept: Cellular Frustration.

3. Evolutionary Biology: I proposed a robust theory to explain the origin of species in sympatry. The theory we propose uses a new mechanism that strongly amplifies selection. This mechanism is also essential to explain self/nonself discrimination in the immune system and it resembles a generalization of the kinetic proofreading mechanism first proposed by Hopfield and Ninio.   

4. Medical Physics and Rehabilitation: I am developing instruments and theories to improve the rehabilitation of patients with spinal cord injuries.

5. 3D Vision and Perception: I am trying to improve our ability to see in 3D without the help of special glasses. I am also working on a new task that highlights serial and parallel visual processing modes.

 6. Science Education and Communication: I planned and built some experiments for FISICA VIVA 2005, a major event to brought physics to the general public in the biggest shopping centers in Portugal. 

Formerly I developed a renormalization group approach that I applied to the theory of HTC superconductivity. These works showed that nesting induces incipient SDW instabilities that are connected to SC instabilities at lower temperatures. This could explain the emergence of pseudogaps in HTCs. From these works I am led to think that HTC superconductivity arises due to the existence of nesting in some planes, and BCS instabilities in others (possibly induced by phonons). The nesting induces the incipient AF observed in the pseudogap phase, while it also increases the SC critical temperature due to the coupling of BCS processes within both types of planes. 

Selected Publications:

[1]  de Abreu, F.V., Nolte-´Hoen, E.N.M., Almeida, C.R. and Davis, D.M., Cellular Frustration: a New Conceptual Framework for Understanding Cell-Mediated Immune Responses (2006) LNCS 4163, 37-51, [pdf]

[2] Almeida, C.R. and de Abreu, F.V., Dynamical instabilities lead to sympatric speciation. Evol.Ec. Res. (2003) 5: 739-757, [pdf]

[3]  Nesting induced precursor effects: A renormalization group approach, de Abreu F.V., Doucot B. Phys. Rev. Lett. 86 (13): 2866-2869 MAR 26 2001, [pdf]



Departamento de Física

Universidade de Aveiro

Campus Universitario de Santiago

3810-193 Aveiro - Portugal


Tel: 351 234 378 104

Fax: 351 234 424 964