Levich Institute Seminar Announcement, 02/11/2014
Tuesday, 02/11/2014
2:00 PM
Steinman Hall, Room #312
(Chemical Engineering Conference Room)

Professor Mike Cates
University of Edinburgh, Scotland
School of Physics & Astronomy

"Phase Separation in Active Colloids"


I will address the physics of self-propelled particles such as motile bacteria or self-phoretic colloidal particles. Such particles move along a specific body axis, which changes either by gradual angular diffusion or (for bacteria) by stochastic 'tumbles' in which the orientation changes suddenly by a large amount. Even though their motion is diffusive at large scales, such particles behave very differently from conventional colloids undergoing isothermal Brownian motion. In particular, unlike the Brownian case, self-propelled particles are more numerous in regions where they move slowly. But they also tend to move slowly where they are more numerous. The resulting feedback can cause phase separation, even in the complete absence of attractive interparticle forces. I will describe recent progress in understanding this new type of phase separation via simulations and fundamental theory.

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