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Upcoming Condensed Matter and Biological Physics Seminars

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Cooperative behaviors in living systems: from molecular motors to bacteria - by Agnese Curatolo

Mar 29, 2017, 4:00 PM-5:00 PM

Room 208

Host: Cristina Marchetti | Contact: Tyler Engstrom, taengstr@syr.edu

Biology and physics meet in a large variety of different contexts. At all scales, from DNA dynamics to ecological problems, statistical physics provides powerful tools to model and understand the mechanisms leading to collective behaviors so widespread in living systems. In the first part of my talk I will show how to construct the phase diagram of multilane systems which can be used to model molecular motors along microtubules as well as traffic flows of cars or pedestrians. In the second part I will talk about collaborative pattern formation in multi-species bacterial colonies. Our idea is that the control of the cell motilities by the local densities of the different bacterial strains can lead to a variety of patterns with segregation and aggregation between the strains, in the absence of any directional interactions.

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Fingers, toes and tongues: the anatomy of interfacial instabilities in viscous fluids - by Irmgard Bischofberger

Mar 31, 2017, 11:00 AM-12:00 PM

Rooms 202/204

Host: Joseph Paulsen | Contact: Tyler Engstrom, taengstr@syr.edu

The invasion of one fluid into another of higher viscosity is unstable and produces complex patterns in a quasi-two dimensional geometry. This viscous-fingering instability, a bedrock of our understanding of pattern formation, has been characterized by a most-unstable wavelength that sets the characteristic width of the fingers. We have shown that a second, previously overlooked, parameter governs the length of the fingers and characterizes the dominant global features of the patterns. 

Because interfacial tension suppresses short-wavelength fluctuations, its elimination would suggest an instability producing highly ramified singular structures. Our experimental investigations using miscible fluids show the opposite behavior -- the interface becomes more stable even as the stabilizing effect of interfacial tension is removed. This is accompanied by slender structures, tongues, that form in the narrow thickness of the fluid. Among the rich variety of global patterns that emerge is a regime of blunt structures, "toes", that exhibit the unusual features characteristic of proportionate growth. This type of pattern formation, while quite common in mammalian biology, was hitherto unknown in physical systems.

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TBD - by Paul Janmey

Apr 7, 2017, 11:00 AM-12:00 PM

Rooms 202/204

Host: Jen Schwarz | Contact: Tyler Engstrom, taengstr@syr.edu

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TBD - by Daniel Sussman

Apr 14, 2017, 11:00 AM-12:00 PM

Rooms 202/204

Host: Jen Schwarz | Contact: Tyler Engstrom, taengstr@syr.edu

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TBD - by Arshad Kudrolli

Apr 21, 2017, 11:00 AM-12:00 PM

Rooms 202/204

Host: Joseph Paulsen | Contact: Tyler Engstrom, taengstr@syr.edu

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TBD - by Madhav Mani

Apr 28, 2017, 11:00 AM-12:00 PM

Rooms 202/204

Host: Lisa Manning | Contact: Tyler Engstrom, taengstr@syr.edu

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TBD - by Pankaj Mehta

May 5, 2017, 11:00 AM-12:00 PM

Rooms 202/204

Host: Lisa Manning | Contact: Tyler Engstrom, taengstr@syr.edu