Fall 2014 Seminar
Talks are 12:00 noon on Thursdays in Olin 268, unless otherwise noted.
September 11, 2014
The Living Cell as Viewed by a Physicist
Ben Vollmayr-Lee, Bucknell UniversityShow/hide abstract.
September 25, 2014
Evolution and Survival at Inflating Frontiers
Max Lavrentovich, University of PennsylvaniaShow/hide abstract.
October 9, 2014
Fermions & Bosons, Forces & Pressures: Insights into Thermodynamics from Simple Quantum Mechanics
Martin Ligare, Bucknell UniversityShow/hide abstract.
October 16, 2014
Making Cells with Active Microtubule Mixtures
Jennifer Ross, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Abstract: Biology utilizes energy to organize itself from the nanoscale to the macroscopic scale. We seek to determine the universal principles of organization from the molecular scale that give rise to architecture on the cellular scale. We are specifically interested in the organization of the microtubule cytoskeleton, a rigid, yet versatile network in most cell types. Microtubules in the cell are organized by motor proteins and crosslinkers. This work applies the ideas of statistical mechanics and condensed matter physics to the non-equilibrium pattern formation behind intracellular organization using the microtubule cytoskeleton as the building blocks. We examine these processes in a bottom-up manner by adding increasingly complex protein actors into the system. Our systematic experiments expose nature’s laws for nanoscale to micron scale organization and have large impacts on biology as well as illuminating new frontiers of non-equilibrium physics. Much of the work I will be sharing was done by undergraduate researchers.
October 30, 2014
Title to be announced
Douglas Edmonds, Emory and Henry College
November 13, 2014
Non-equilibrium Statistical Mechanics: a growing frontier of “pure and applied” theoretical physics
Royce Zia, Virginia TechShow/hide abstract.
December 4, 2014. Joint Math/Physics & Astronomy Seminar.