Nature provides many examples of active matter, ranging from flocks of birds, fish, and insects to sheets of cells and swarms of bacteria. In the lab, various attempts have been made to develop biomimetic and synthetic active materials, from self-propelled colloids and mechanically agitated flocks, to dense phases of biopolymers driven by molecular motors. This is a rich field of research, and to date, much theoretical work has been dedicated to understanding the fundamental physics of these fascinating and diverse systems. Active materials are non-equilibrium systems, and thus they cannot be described in the framework of conventional thermodynamics. The unifying theme of active matter is that collections of subunits consume energy locally, translate that energy into movement, and ultimately produce large-scale flows. This large-scale motion can produce rich emergent structures, including phase boundaries and topological defects, where local order breaks down.
This workshop will bring together researchers from different academic disciplines with a common interest in active materials, especially recently developed active nematics. This include biologists, physicists, and material scientists, who have already been working in this new field, as well as researchers in nonlinear dynamics who may be new to this field of research. The idea is to bring together scientists with differing backgrounds and perspectives, both theoretical and experimental, to advance this burgeoning field.