Dynamics of Flowing Elements: from Grains to Cells – Niels Bohr Institute - University of Copenhagen

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Niels Bohr Institute > Calendar > 2009 > Dynamics of Flowing El...

Dynamics of Flowing Elements: from Grains to Cells

Though macroscopic flows of rather simple molecules are relatively well characterized with hydrodynamics, flows of elements with more complex internal structure are not necessarily well characterized. One good example is the flow of sand. We can walk on a sand beach, but when we scoop up a handful of sand, it runs off through our fingers like fluid.

Another example is flowing "active matter", namely, things which can move actively, such as molecular motors and cars. The element is quite complex, but their flow shows interesting collective behaviors, and it has been attracting research interests in statistical physics.

In this talk, I present the dynamics of these complex and strongly out of equilibrium systems.

I present unique and fundamental features of granular dynamics which comes from the simple fact that granular material is "a collection of big rigid particles".

I also present some phenomena related to instability in granular system, including jam formation,  which are seen in granular flow, in car traffic, and also in ribosomes that move along a messenger RNA.