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MRSEC: Models and Phenomena of Active Particles and Materials

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Prof. Mike Shelley, New York University
07 April 2014 from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
S-5 Osmond
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Soft materials that have an "active" microstructure are important
examples of so-called active matter. Examples include suspensions of
motile microorganisms or synthetic motors, "active gels" made up of actin
and myosin, and suspensions of microtubules cross-linked by motile
motor-proteins. These nonequilibrium materials can have unique
mechanical properties and organization, show spontaneous
activity-driven flows, and are part of self-assembled biological
structures such as the mitotic spindle. I will discuss the nature and
modeling of these materials, focusing on fluids driven by "active
stresses" generated by swimming, motor-protein activity, and surface
tension gradients. Amusingly, the latter reveals a new class of fluid flow
singularities and an unexpected connection to the Keller-Segel model of