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Pulsating active matter

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Zoom-only seminar

Active systems are made of interacting units converting an energy source into sustained dynamics, yielding emergent states without any equilibrium equivalent. In assemblies of self-propelled particles, such as motile bacteria, activity drives individual displacement. In dense biological tissues, where crowding hinders motion, activity instead mostly drives individual pulsation, namely periodic change in size. We examine active systems where the competition between pulsation, synchronisation, and steric hindrance triggers wave propagation without migration: Particle size undergoes collective oscillations with only negligible particle displacement. This instability leads to a plethora of dynamical patterns akin to reaction-diffusion dynamics, suggesting that pulsating active matter captures the same Physics despite the absence of any reaction.

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

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