Active Matter refers to a class of physical systems made up of self-propelled, interacting entities, such as living organisms or synthetic particles, that exhibit collective behavior and can produce forces and fluxes at the macroscopic scale. Active matter systems can generate directed motion, spontaneous pattern formation, and display emergent properties that are not present in passive physical systems. Research in this area is interdisciplinary, drawing on physics, chemistry, biology, and engineering, with applications ranging from the design of new materials and technologies to the understanding of biological systems and living matter. Understanding the behavior of active matter is a fundamental challenge in the natural sciences, and its study has the potential to lead to new insights and technologies in a variety of fields.
The application of active matters has been much limited so far. A major reason is that a bottom-up design of these materials is rather limited. We have recently proposed a technique based on 3D printing techniques to make physico-chemically active particles. The behaviour of these particles can be controlled by the physical properties of the materials and more importantly one is able to “design behaviour” by defining particles shapes and gematrical properties.
You will work in a team to extend the current experimental platform from single particle systems to many particle systems and study the collective behaviour of active particles. To this end, you will design particles of different shapes, you will use 3D printers to fabricate the particles, you will perform multiple tests and use image processing to analyse the data. Additionally, you will use hydrodynamics, and statistical physics to provide the theoretical counterpart of the experiments.
Experiments: 3D printing, Imaging, Image Processing
Theory: classic mechanics, hydrodynamics