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Self-Organization in Inactive and Active Systems


Lecture course in summer semester 2014 consisting of 7 lectures in total


Prof. Raymond Kapral

(University of Toronto, Canada)


April 24 - May 12, 2014

Day, time, and place:

  • Tuesday 22.04., 16:15 - 17:45 h
  • Thursday 24.04., 14:15 - 15:45 h
  • Monday 28.04.,  16:15 - 17:45 h
  • Tuesday 29.04., 16:15 - 17:45 h
  • Monday 05.05.,  16:15 - 17:45 h
  • Thursday 08.05.,  14:15 - 15:45 h
  • Monday 12.05.,  16:15 - 17:45 h

in room ER 164 at TU Berlin.


Course Outline:

The course will present a brief overview of the origins of the spatio-temporal patterns seen in systems that can be described in terms of free energy functionals, and contrast these phenomena with the new types of dynamics that is observed when some of the constituent elements are able to propel themselves and a free energy functional does not exist. Free energy functional formulations are able to describe wide variety of phenomena, including phase segregation and the complex patterns seen in liquid crystal systems. Active media exhibit new types of behavior that includes swarming, anomalous fluctuations and nonequilibrium phase transitions.
Specific topics to be discussed are:

  • An introduction to free energy functional descriptions of phase segregation in simple systems with conserved and nonconserved order parameters; domain growth scaling in these systems; liquid crystal systems.
  • Modifications to the formulations for active systems; giant number fluctuations; the origin of self-propulsion due to chemical gradients; phoretic mechanis for self-propulsion, in particular self-diffusiophoresis; collective behavior.


Lecture pdfs

Introduction slides

Zusatzinformationen / Extras