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Active Matter: Evading the Decay to Equilibrium

Biophysics and bioengineering image

Speaker:  Prof. Julia Yeomans, University of Oxford

Biological systems avoid equilibrium by taking chemical energy from their surroundings to do work. Cells organise intracellular components into the structures they need to grow and move.

Tissues, collections of cells, differentiate locally as they develop from egg to animal. Dense, active systems, for example colonies of bacteria, also exist out of thermodynamic equilibrium. They have complex collective behaviour characterised by turbulence and self-propelled topological defects.

Physicists have the theories of nonequilibrium statistical physics, developed to describe large active systems.  Which raises the question, can these be used to understand active biological processes?  In this talk Prof. Yeomans will answer this question and discuss the processes involved in wound healing and cell motility.

Venue information:

  • Wheelchair access
  • Free parking
  • Coffee and Tea from 19:00