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Directed Assembly of Active Colloidal Devices

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Salvatore Tesoro.

Self-propelled “active” colloids offer a well-controlled analogue of motile micro-organisms. Their micro-dynamics violates time reversal symmetry allowing “ratchet” effects (steady-state fluxes) in spatially asymmetric microfluidic environments, and phase separation in the absence of attractive forces. The speed of propulsion can in some cases be controlled by light fields. This suggests a way of using light to guide colloids to build their own microfluidic devices out of a primordial soup of particles. I will show simulation results that offer partial proof-of-concept for this idea. Then I will discuss some of the deeper theory issues that arise when doing statistical mechanics without time reversal symmetry.

This talk is part of the Biological and Statistical Physics discussion group (BSDG) series.

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