University of Cambridge > > DAMTP Statistical Physics and Soft Matter Seminar > Optimal transport and control of active drops

Optimal transport and control of active drops

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Transportation of materials is a common yet important task in a variety of fields including physics, biology, and economics, and a great deal is known about optimal and efficient strategies to perform it. But can we craft similar optimal protocols to transport autonomously moving matter such as self-propelled active drops or migrating cells? I will present an optimal control framework to transport a drop of an active suspension with a minimal expenditure of mechanical work, achieved by dynamically varying the spatial profile of its internal active stress. By combining numerical solutions and analytical insight, I will discuss the geometric nature of controllability and highlight characteristic precision, power and efficiency trade-offs that govern the optimal policies, suggesting general strategies for optimal transportation in a wide variety of synthetic and biological active systems.

This talk is part of the DAMTP Statistical Physics and Soft Matter Seminar series.

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