(6eq) Engineering Non-Equilibrium Materials with Controllable Spatiotemporal Patterns: Oscillator Networks and Active Suspensions

Norton, M. M., Brandeis University
Fraden, S., Brandeis University
Hagan, M. F., Brandeis University
Dogic, Z., University of California Santa Barbara
Baskaran, A., Brandeis University
Research Interests:

Creating spatial and temporal structure from inert or homogeneous media is central to the function of living material but is also a generic behavior of far from equilibrium systems. Studying model active systems will lay the groundwork for engineering spontaneously organizing materials that exhibit desired and robust dynamical attractors. Such materials will have novel means by which to process information, spontaneously create control signals, or execute mechanical tasks, all by consuming chemical energy. My research group will study the fundamental processes of pattern formation in chemical oscillator networks and active suspension with nematic ordering. In the oscillator system, these structures take the form of patterns of temporal synchrony characterized by the relative phase at which connecting units oscillate. The gallop or trot of a quadruped, for example, are two alternate forms of synchrony orchestrated by its nervous system. In the active liquid crystal system, active stress creates mobile topological defects that generate fluid flow and whose trajectories exhibit both temporally periodic and chaotic dynamics. At my poster, I will present both my current research on these systems as well as my plans for developing novel non-equilibrium materials by bringing together a group that integrates both experiment and theoretical investigation.

Teaching Interests:

I would be happy contributing to courses in fluid dynamics, transport, and soft matter where my experience modeling micro- and nano-scale fluid dynamics, multiphase flows, electro-kinetic flows, and transport phenomena will enrich the curriculum. I would also like to create my own special topics courses for graduate students based on my research interests in active, low Reynolds number flows, reaction-diffusion systems, and nonlinear dynamics. To develop these courses I will use elements from the following texts: Pattern Formation and Dynamics in Non-equilibrium Systems (Cross and Greenside), Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos (Strogatz), Low Reynolds Number Hydrodynamics (Happen and Brenner), and Dissipative Structures and Chaos (Kuramoto).