Physics day: 'Physics of Living Systems'
The tools of soft matter physics have long been used to provide insight into cell biology, and have been incredibly successful at describing many phenomenological features, such as the shape of red blood cells and defect formation in epiphelia. However, as experimental techniques become more precise and quantitative the need to extend such theories has become apparent. Biological systems are inherently out of equilibrium, and have been shown to break the fluctuation dissipation theorem due to their “active” consumption of energy. They are also highly molecule specific and the details of chemical reactions underlying the regulation of mechanical processes can be very important in trying to understand the dynamics of these systems. As such, new “active” and mechano-chemical theories of living matter are required in order to explain phenomena. Such theories are not only useful as models for biological processes, but have been shown to display interesting new physics in their own right. The aim of this meeting is to bring together a wide range of researchers to address contemporary questions on the physics of living systems, with a focus on the interplay between theory and experiment.