Lecture on 'Active Matter Today and Tomorrow'

F.C. Kohli Auditorium, CSE Building (KReSIT), IIT Bombay

The Indian Institute of Technology Bombay is organizing an Institute Colloquium on February 21, 2024. The details of the lecture are given below:

Title: 'Active Matter Today and Tomorrow'

Speaker: Prof. Sriram Ramaswamy, Honorary Professor and J C Bose National Fellow, Department of Physics, Indian Institute of Science Bangalore.

About the speaker: Prof. Sriram Rajagopal Ramaswamy FRS is an Indian physicist. He is a professor at the Indian Institute of Science Bangalore, and former Director of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) Centre for Interdisciplinary Sciences in Hyderabad. He completed his PhD in theoretical physics at the University of Chicago, graduating in 1983. He completed postdoctoral research at the University of Pennsylvania.

Prof. Ramaswamy is a theoretician whose research investigates nonequilibrium statistical physics, soft matter, condensed matter physics and biological physics. His research helped found the field of active matter, which studies the motility and related collective behaviour of objects that convert local energy input into autonomous motion.

He is widely known for formulating the hydrodynamic equations governing the alignment, flow, mechanics, and statistical properties of suspensions of self-propelled creatures on scales from a cell to the ocean. Key predictions—that macroscopically aligned flocks of swimming bacteria are impossible and that the addition of swimmers to a fluid can make the viscosity arbitrarily small—have been confirmed in recent experiments. His insight into nonliving imitations of self-propulsion has led to design principles for chemotactic colloids, the first experiments observing giant number fluctuations in flocks, and the creation of flocks with a tiny minority of motile constituents.

Among the awards he has received for his research are the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Science and Technology in 2000 and the Infosys Prize for Physical Sciences in 2011. He also served on the Physical Sciences jury for the Infosys Prize in 2014. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2016, and awarded the S.S.Bhatnagar Award (2000), (citation: https://scholar.google.co.in/citations?user=igytGcAAAAAJ&hl=en). He was awarded one of the H K Firodia awards for 2016.

(Click here to learn more about the speaker)

Abstract: Materials whose constituents convert a sustained energy supply into work are a source of endless fascination. Defining this distinct category of nonequilibrium systems brought living cells, tissue, and organism groups into the embrace of condensed matter physics. It also inspired the creation of minimal biological, chemical, and mechanical realisations of active matter. Flocking, motile defects, active turbulence, condensation without attraction, and evading Newton's 3rd Law are among the intriguing features of active systems. My lecture will introduce this vibrant field, discuss recent and ongoing work done with my group and colleagues, and offer a view of the future.