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Contortion of a beach ball

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Coupling Geometric PDEs with Physics for Cell Morphology, Motility and Pattern Formation

Touching an object is not always necessary to evaluate its mechanical properties. Similarly, obtaining clues on a microscopic structure can be done without the use of sophisticated devices : in some cases, the simple observation of a shape can tell a lot.

In the research domain of Soft Matter, many nice shapes can be met, taken by very deformable objects under weak sollicitations, that are to be interpretated with quite simple concepts (surface tension, entropy, elasticity…). In this respect, beach balls and their cousins are efficient models for several objects of Soft Matter, because they present a variety of qualitatively different behaviours when they undergo deflation. After a short introduction to surface mechanics, I will present how these type situations can explain some aspects of more elaborated systems (like the efficiency of the trap to be found in some carnivorous plants), or guide the realization of artificial microswimmers designed to be remotely controlled in the human body through echographic

This talk is part of the Isaac Newton Institute Seminar Series series.

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