Nonequilibrium physics studies processes where fluxes of energy or matter break time reversibility. These are ubiquitous in nature and include, among others, formation and ageing of glasses, molecular transport on the cytoskeleton and collective behaviour in animated agents. It is a cross-disciplinary field where computational tools play a central role, since a general theoretical framework describing these problems is lacking. In this context, scientists working on soft condensed matter, statistical physics, biophysics and life sciences mutually contribute to each other’s research development. For instance, tools from glassy physics have been employed in the study of dense self-propelled (active) matter , as well as of genome folding in vivo ; fundamental concepts and bounds from stochastic thermodynamics are used to understand or even design molecular motors .
In this workshop, we aim to bring this effort one step further, focusing on four particularly stimulating areas: (1) biophysics & polymers, (2) active matter, (3) non-equilibrium statistical mechanics, (4) glasses & disordered systems. The purpose of the workshop is to bring together Early Career scientists, who, with their hands-on experience on the details of the topics, will identify common methods, improvable ideas and potential for future collaborations.
The workshop will address, among others, the following key questions:
• [biophysics & polymers] How does the interplay between non-equilibrium processes and polymeric nature of the genome affects its organisation and dynamics inside the nucleus of the cells [3-5]?
• [active matter] What is the effect of the interactions with boundaries and environment on the non-equilibrium collective behaviour displayed by active systems [6-7]?
• [nonequilibrium stat mech] How can the bounds on efficiency and entropy productions of stochastic thermodynamics be applied to the design of efficient molecular machines ?
• [glasses & disordered system] What is the connection between the rigid response of disordered materials and emergent dynamic and thermodynamic transitions [9-11]?
The workshop will provide ample room to discuss these topics and their interconnections.