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Active and collective motion: from cells to organisms

All materials can be put in one of two classes: equilibrium materials and non-equilibrium materials. Traditionally, physics has focussed primarily on the properties of equilibrium materials. However, non-equilibrium materials exhibit a rich array of properties, particularly in so-called "active" materials that are continuously driven from equilibrium by a source of energy. At the simple end of this spectrum lie phoretic particles, that move in response to a gradients of temperature, concentration etc. At the more complex end are biological materials. These include swimming or crawling cells, the cytoskeletal fluids that control morphology or motility in cells or larger organisms like insects or animals. Collectives of these particles, cells or organisms, known as "swarms", exhibit their own rich behaviour including with self-organisation, alignment, quorum-sensing etc.

This meeting will address a number of contemporary questions in this field, including the relationship between artificial and biological materials and how one can better understand the generation of forces and motility in both classes.

When: Monday 16th July 2018
Where: MS.05 in the Zeeman Building 

[Entering through the main doors of Zeeman, take the stairs in front of you on your right and continue up the second flight of stairs. MS.05 is the first room round to the right.]


11.00 Welcome - Matthew Turner

Session 1 [chair: Gareth Alexander]

11.05  "Mechanosensitivity of Crawling Cells” - John Molina (University of Kyoto, Japan)

11.50 "Electrical signalling during bacterial cellular differentiation into spores" - Munehiro Asally (Warwick)

12.35 Buffet lunch (provided), posters and breakout discussions. Complexity Common Room.

Session 2 [chair: Marco Polin]

13.20 “Coherent migration and colony growth of cells on a substrate” - Simon Schnyder (University of Kyoto, Japan)

14.05 "The dynamics of swarming bacteria" - Avraham Be'er (Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel)

14.50 Coffee break. Complexity Common Room.

Session 3 [chair: Vasily Kantsler]

15.20 "Collective myosin action drives actin filament reorganization and clustering of membrane components in vitro" - Darius Koester (Warwick)

16.05 "Bacterial suspensions as model active matter systems" - Hugues Chaté (Saclay, France)

16.50 Closing remarks and dinner arrangements

17.00 End

Organizers: Matthew Turner, Gareth Alexander, Vasily Kantsler, Marco Polin (Department of Physics, University of Warwick)