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Active Matter: A Personal Overview and Some Perspectives

05/17 2023 Peng Huanwu Forum on Frontiers of Science
  • Title Active Matter: A Personal Overview and Some Perspectives
  • Speaker Hugues Chaté (CEA-Saclay, France and Beijing CSRC)
  • Date 10:00 May 17, 2023
  • Venue
  • Abstract
     Active matter incorporates constituents that transform energy, stored internally or gathered from their environment, into mechanical work. I will first describe a few spectacular real-life examples of such systems, and then try to draw, from my personal perspective, a panorama of this still fast-growing multi-form field.I will then focus on the archetypical problem of ‘polar flocks’, which, one may argue, started the field with the publication in 1995 in PRL of the seminal papers by Vicsek et al. and by Toner and Tu. I will describe our current understanding of the emergence of true long-range orientational order from the breaking of a continuous symmetry in 2D active systems, but I will then show that this landmark result of active matter studies is in fact in jeopardy: recent evidence show that these ordered phases are fragile and often metastable. 

    Introduction of the speaker: Hugues Chaté is a Research Director at CEA-Saclay, France, and the Lead Editor of Physical Review Letters.  He obtained is PhD in 1989 from Université Pierre & Marie Curie in Paris. After a short postdoctoral stay at Bell Laboratories, he joined the condensed matter physics department in Saclay. He was the leader of the Advanced Study Group “Statistical Physics of Collective Motion” at the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems in Dresden, Germany. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society, and a laureate of the 1000 Talents program of the Chinese government. In 2016, he took a Chair Professor position at the Beijing Computational Science Research Center. The research of Hugues Chaté covers a wide range of topics ranging from nonlinear dynamics to statistical physics and critical phenomena. He has played a seminal role in the development of the field of active matter, with key papers published on minimal models and their theoretical understanding as well as works in collaborations with leading experimentalists working on animal collective behavior, bacteria colonies, and in vitro mixtures of biofilaments and motor proteins.