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Thursday, January 4, 2018 - 11:15 to 12:30 Auditorium
Active matter describes a large class of systems in which individual units are able to dissipate energy stored in the environment to generate self-propelling forces. These systems, driven out of thermal equilibrium at the microscopic scale, can be found in Nature or synthesized in the lab. From bacteria and molecular motors to bird flocks and fisch schools, through self-phoretic janus colloids or Quincke rollers, they display a wide range of phenomenologies without counterparts in equilibrium systems. In this colloquium, I will review recent progresses in the field of active matter and show how non-equilibrium statistical mechanics accounts for the emerging properties of active materials. In particular, I will discuss the anomalous mechanical properties of active systems, showing that their mechanical pressures generically do not satisfy equations of state. I will also discuss their collective behaviours, from the transition to collective motion to the so-called motility induced phase separation through which a liquid-gas phase coexistence can emerge in the absence of attractive forces.