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New perspectives on active matter

Thursday 12th January 2023, PS0.17 (Physical Sciences Building, Ground floor), 09:30 - 17:30

The Physics Department will be holding a Physics Day Conference “New perspectives on active matter”.

(Registration is now closed.)

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There has been much recent interest in active matter physics – the study of persistently out-of-equilibrium materials. Examples include catalytic particles, biological motor proteins, living cells and moving agents more generally. There is the prospect of making deep contributions to physics, e.g. 1. How can we understand phenomena that closely resemble phase transitions that have been shown to occur in persistently out-of-equilibrium systems? The hope is that this opens up a new way of understanding the relationship between equilibrium and non-equilibrium physics.

2. So-called “odd” materials (fluids, solids) where the usual symmetry properties of materials are broken to allow chiral terms not considered in Landau and Lifshitz. These represent a new model system and, importantly a number of experimental realisations have recently been proposed, driving further interest.

3. Biological systems. It is now generally expected that an appropriate physical model will be provided to complement biological experiment on mechanochemical systems and in vitro systems derived from them. This is now quite clearly feeding back into the kinds of experiments that biologists carry out: Increasingly the motivation is to elucidate our physics-based understanding of these systems.


09.30 Arrival and coffee (PS0.17)
09.55-10.00 Welcome
10.00-10.45 Professor Thomas Montenegro-Johnson (University of Birmingham) "Dynamic anisotropy: a new design paradigm for single-material nonreciprocal microactuators"
10.45-11.30 Dr Darius Koester (University of Warwick) "A lipid membrane – actin active composite as a minimal system to study mechanisms governing cell membrane organisation"
11.30-12.00 Coffee (PS Common Room)
12.30-13.15 Professor Hartmut Löwen (University of Düsseldorf) "Active colloidal particles in complex environments"
13.15-14.00 Lunch (PS Common Room)
14.00-14.45 Dr Clément Moreau (University of Kyoto) "Odd elasticity models for microswimmers activity and self-organised locomotion"
14.45-15.30 Dr Timothy Saunders (University of Warwick) "Cell and tissue shaping in 3D"
15.30-16.00 Coffee (PS Common Room)
16.00-16.45 Professor Hugues Chaté (CEA Saclay, Paris) "Robust edge flows in swarming bacteria colonies"


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