Speaker: Julien Tailleur (MIT)
Title: Self-organization of motile cells by quorum-sensing or chemotactic interactions
Abstract: Equilibrium statistical mechanics tells us how to control the self-assembly of passive materials by tuning the competition between energy and entropy to achieve desired states of organization. Out of equilibrium, no such principles apply and self-organization principles are scarce. Active matter describes systems in which individual units dissipate energy to exert forces on their environment. Dissipation and injection of energy are then disconnected at the microscopic scale, hence driving the system strongly out of thermal equilibrium. This leads to a phenomenology markedly different from that of equilibrium systems, such as the emergence of dense phases in the absence of cohesive attractive forces, but it also leaves us without guiding principles to understand the self-organization of active matter. In this talk, I will review the progress which has been made over the past ten years to control the organization of self-propelled agents using motility control, either externally or through interactions. I will show that generic principles apply and illustrate the theoretical developments presented in the talk using recent experiments on the motility-induced self-organization of bacterial mixtures.