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SEMINAR: Mathematics & Statistics Colloquium: Mimicking magnets with lattices of bacterial vortices.

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Mathematics & Statistics Colloquium

Time and date: 4pm, Thursday 13th August

Venue: Blakers Lecture Theatre

Speaker: Francis Woodhouse (The University of Western Australia)

Title: Mimicking magnets with lattices of bacterial vortices.

Abstract:When alone in an unbounded fluid, a rod-shaped motile bacterium like E. coli will swim in straight lines punctuated by random turns. Pack many of them together in the same fluid, however, and they adopt collective swirling patterns akin to macroscopic turbulence. Confining the bacteria within a small circular cavity tames this turbulence and leads instead to a steadily spinning bacterial vortex. When many such vortices are linked together in a square lattice of cavities, the rotation sense of a vortex becomes dependent on those of its neighbours. By declaring the senses to be 'up' and 'down' spins, the result is a bacterial analogue of an Ising ferromagnet. After explaining the background to these so-called 'active matter' systems, I will explore the challenges involved in mapping classical statistical physics models to this decidedly non-classical system - but only after revealing an entirely unexpected twist in the experiments.
Speaker(s) Francis Woodhouse
Location Blakers Lecture Theatre
Contact Luke Morgan <[email protected]>
Start Thu, 13 Aug 2015 16:00
End Thu, 13 Aug 2015 17:00
Submitted by Luke Morgan <[email protected]>
Last Updated Wed, 29 Jul 2015 13:17
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