Self-Organization and Mechanics of Active Matter

Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - 3:30pm - 4:30pm
Reiss 502
M. Cristina Marchetti
Physics Department, Syracuse University

The name “active matter” has recently been coined to refer to soft materials composed of many interacting self-driven units that consume energy and collectively generate motion or mechanical stresses. Examples include bacterial suspensions, the cytoskeleton of living cells, collections of cells on a substrate, and even monolayers of vibrated granular rods. These systems exhibit fascinating large-scale emergent behavior, with transitions between ordered and disordered states, pattern formation, and novel rheological and mechanical properties. In this talk I will describe several examples of active systems and describe how they can be modeled theoretically using the tools of condensed matter and statistical physics, with the goal of highlighting a unified view of their large-scale collective behavior.

Host: Jeff Urbach