Chemical Selforganization: Macroscopic Order from Microscopic Processes

Chemical Selforganization: Macroscopic Order from Microscopic Processes

Nonlinear Science & Mathematical Physics

Date

November 1, 2017 -
3:00pm to 4:00pm

Location

Howey - School of Physics

Room

N110

Affiliation

Florida State University

 Abstract

Simple rules can create complex patterns and dynamics. This connection is routinely used by living systems to create complex rhythms, spatio-temporal structures, and high-performance materials with surprising design features at meso- and macroscopic length scales that seem to defy their molecular origins.

In my lecture, I will present several examples that illustrate this point and demonstrate that many phenomena that appear to be unique to life processes actually occur in non-biological, often simple chemical systems.

Specifically, I will discuss nonlinear wave patterns in reaction-diffusion media and examples of life-like structures in chemical reactions that form polycrystalline or amorphous solids. The unexpectedness of some of these universalities has profound consequences in a wide range of scientific disciplines ranging from the misidentification of early microfossils to deadly cardiac arrhythmias.