Public lecture "Flocking birds, marching penguins and the marvellous physics of active matter''

24 August 2022

Venue: Museum Volkenkunde

Public lecture by Cristina Marchetti

In 1995, while the excitement for the renormalization group and the new physics of critical phenomena at equilibrium was still alive, the mysterious beauty of collective motion in animals and other non-equilibrium systems was about to take the physics community back to square one of its understanding of emergent phenomena.

Twenty five years later, active matter has evolved into one of the most vibrant and productive areas of physics, with hundreds of articles published every year. On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the field of active matter (plus the two years interruption caused by the Covid pandemic), the Leiden Institute of Physics (LION) and the Lorentz Center are gathering in Leiden the pioneers and the current protagonists of this exciting research area to look ahead at the next grand challenge. 

This lecture aims at sharing with the general public how physicists think about bird flocks, marching penguins, collectively swarming bacteria and communities of simple robots, working independently and yet collectively toward a common goal. 


Cristina Marchetti is one of the world’s leading researcher in the physics of emergent phenomena. She is a member of the National Academy of Science (USA), the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a pioneer of the field of “active matter”.


19:00 open door and refreshments

20:00 beginning of the lecture

21:00 end of the lecture

21:30 end of the event



Entry is free, but please reserve a seat by email
You should print and take your email ticket reservation with you.


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