Gulliver Seminar, Paddy Royall (CNRS & ESPCI PSL)

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27 septembre 11:30 » 12:30 — Bibliothèque PCT - F3.04

"Controlling interactions in real space across the lengthscales : love, hate and criticality."

Polymers, liquid crystals, surfactants, and colloidal dispersions form the four historic pillars of soft matter. For physicists, colloids were a relatively late entry into the field, driven in no small way by the seminal work of Peter Pusey and Bill van Megen in their experimental realisation of hard sphere phase behaviour, arguably the simplest non—trivial material. Since then, the ability to manipulate the interactions between colloids, i.e. making them attract or repel one another so that they can be treated as model atoms has led to many important discoveries.
I will review some of the work done using colloids which has led to many developments such as a deeper understanding of criticality, crystallisation and a host of novel phenomena such as re—entrant melting, before considering how knowledge gained from a soft matter approach to manipulating interactions between constituent particles can be applied to other materials such as proteins. Recently, a great deal of interest has been generated by active systems and towards the end of the presentation I will explore analogies between active colloidal systems and a model biological system of zebrafish.





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