Fluctuations and Response in Active Materials: From Driven Granular Systems to Swarming Bacteria

20 - 24 June 2011

Venue: Lorentz Center@Oort

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Description and aim

The Workshop will bring together the leading theoretical, computational, and experimental scientists in the fields of granular/soft materials and active biological systems to accomplish two key objectives.  First, we seek to identify promising fruitful research directions that will address the fundamental open questions that are common to both nonliving, physical systems such as granular media and active, living systems.

Some of the important questions that have emerged include:

1)  what are the "universal" properties of active matter that determine large-scale behavior,

2)  can an improved understanding of active living matter lead to design strategies to prevent unwanted jamming and glassy behavior in granular, colloidal, and other physics systems,

3)  to what extent can bio-activity, collective behavior, and pattern formation in biological systems be explained by physical forces, response, and fluctuations, and

4)  what are the similarities and fundamental differences between living matter and driven dissipative systems? 

Second, we seek to encourage international collaborations among experimentalists and theorists in granular and active matter to develop interdisciplinary research programs to tackle these open questions.

At present, the two research communities are somewhat disjointed with minimal discussion and cross-fertilization of ideas, even though both granular and active systems involve driven, dissipative systems.

The workshop will be considered a success if we establish strong international and interdisciplinary collaborations and linkages among research groups

working in granular and active, living matter.


    Madan Rao, Nat. Center for Biological Science

    Jean-Francois Joanny, Institut Curie

    Martin van Hecke, Leiden University

    Sriram Ramaswamy, Indian Institute of Physics

    Corey O Hern, Yale University, dpt Mechanical Eng.  

    Narayanan Menon, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

    Bulbul Chakraborty, Martin A. Fisher School of Physics

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