FacebookTwitterYouTube RSS Feed

Autonomous motility in soft active matter

Event Details

Event Dates: 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015 - 4:00pm

Seminar Location: 

  • Duane Physics Room G1B20

Speaker Name(s): 

Zvonomir Dogic

Speaker Affiliation(s): 

Brandeis University
Seminar Type/Subject

Scientific Seminar Type: 

  • Physics Department Colloquium

Event Details & Abstract: 

The laws of equilibrium statistical mechanics impose severe constraints on the properties of conventional materials assembled from inanimate building blocks. Consequently, such materials cannot exhibit spontaneous motion or perform macroscopic work; i.e., a fluid in a beaker remains quiescent unless driven by external forces. Inspired by biological phenomena such Drosophila cytoplasmic streaming, our goal is to develop a new category of soft active materials assembled from animate, energy-consuming building blocks. Released from the constraints of the equilibrium, such internally driven materials are able to change-shape, crawl, flow, swim, and exert forces on their boundaries to produce macroscopic work. Active liquid crystals can serve as a platform for developing novel material applications, testing fundamental theoretical models of far-from-equilibrium active matter and potentially even shedding light on self-organization of living cells.