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Soft Active Materials 2009

May 18, 2009 – May 21, 2009

Location: Syracuse University, New York


Organizers: M. Cristina Marchetti, Jennifer Schwarz, and Roy Welch, Syracuse University

The workshop will focus on the general problem of understanding the emergent properties of soft active matter. Active systems are collections of interacting self-propelled or active units where stored energy is continuously transformed into mechanical work at microscopic length scales. They form an exciting new class of nonequilibrium soft materials with intriguing large-scale collective behavior and mechanical properties. Realizations include mixtures of cytoskeletal filaments and motor proteins, the cell cytoskeleton, bacteria colonies, collections of cells in elastic matrices or living tissues, plankton in the ocean, insects or animal groups, and vibrated granular layers. These disparate systems exhibit a number of common large-scale phenomena, including swarming, nonequilibrium disorder-order transitions, mesoscopic patterns, novel correlations and mechanical properties. As such, those studying these systems range from physicists to biologists to applied mathematicians.

Video Archive


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