YouTube Channel


This page is under renovation ....

AML research comprises both experiment and mathematical theory and simulation. Below is a description of some of the areas in which we have performed research.
Fluid/Structure Interactions

Flying, Hovering, and Drafting

Active Fluids, Materials, and Particles

Active fluids are a novel class of non-equilibrium liquid materials that have motile or driven immersed microstructure. In these systems, microscopic activity is driven by the conversion of a local fuel into a change in microstructural conformation (i.e. shape deformations that lead to swimming). This activity can manifest itself at macroscopic scales as hydrodynamic instabilities, collective motions, pattern formation, non-equilibrium ordering transitions, anomalous fluctuations and unique mechanical properties. To understand the non-equilibrium and multi-scale physics of these active materials, we develop and integrate methods that span scales --- from discrete particle methods to continuum theories. By performing integrated studies that combine experiment with theory and simulation, we explore various aspects of both biological and synthetic active systems such as bacterial baths, chemically active colloidal particles, and the biopolymer/motor-protein assemblies as arise in the cell's cytoskelton.

Cellular biophysics and Self-Organized Structures

Cells, tissues and organisms are capable of complex and coordinated behavior, without centralized control. Instead, behavior emerges from simple interactions between the constituents of the system. For instance, the mitotic spindle is a self-organized structure that collects chromosomes prior cell division, moves them to the center of the cell, and then segregates them between daughter cells. All these behaviors emerge from simple physical and chemical interactions between cytoskeletal filaments, motor molecules and associated proteins. Similarly, the cell cortex is a self-organized structure that enables cells to deform, crawl, swim and divide cells in response to external and cell-cycle cues.
The AML uses tools of soft-condensed matter physics to study such self-organized biological structures. By using a combination of symmetry based phenomenological models and detailed descriptions of molecular scale interactions, we gain insights how complex behavior emerges in a robust yet tunable way from microscopic interactions. This understanding of fundamental biological processes may some day inform biomimetic engineering and medical research.

Table-Top Geophysics

Methods for Mathematical Modeling and Simulation