Department of Physics, NCU
Physics of active matter
Prof. H. Hartmut Löwen
Institut für Theoretische Physik II – Soft Matter Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Germany
Abstract: Ordinary materials are “passive” in the sense that their constituents are typically made by inert particles which are subjected to thermal fluctuations, internal interactions and external fields but do not move on their own. Living systems, like schools of fish, swarms of birds, pedestrians and swimming microbes are called “active matter” since they are composed of self-propelled constituents. Active matter is intrinsically in nonequilibrium and exhibits a plethora of novel phenomena as revealed by a recent combined effort of statistical theory, hydrodynamics and real-space experiments. The colloquium talk provides an introduction into the physics of active matter focussing on biological and artificial microswimmers as key examples of active soft matter. A number of single-particle and collective phenomena in active matter will be addressed. In detail, we shall discuss turbulent states and their ability to steer the transport of shuttles as well as kinetic phase separation in active systems.