Top Menu

Geometry, Topology, and Symmetry in Soft and Living Matter: August 24-28, 2020

Organized by: Oleg Gang (Chem. Eng., Columbia University & CFN, Brookhaven National Lab), Miranda Holmes-Cerfon (Courant Institute, NYU), Karen Kasza (Mech. Eng., Columbia University), Alexei Tkachenko (CFN, Brookhaven National Lab).

Soft Condensed Matter Physics is a booming, rapidly changing field that interfaces with multiple disciplines, such as Chemistry, Biology, Nanomaterials, and even Social Sciences. Many of the interdisciplinary problems in this field are also closely connected to geometry, topology or group theory. Some examples of such connections are well known, e.g. topological defects in liquid crystals, the role of curvature in lipid membranes, or the problem of close packing in colloidal self-assembly. As the field develops, the role of geometry and topology becomes increasingly prominent and multifaceted. SCGP workshop “Geometry, Topology, and Symmetry in Soft and Living Matter” brings together scientists from various branches of Soft Condensed Matter and Biophysics, with a special interest on this aspect of the field. The scientific program of the workshop will be developed around the following themes:

1. Packing and self-assembly: from the geometry of building blocks to the morphology of their assemblies (molecules, colloids, designer particles, viruses, protein complexes, crystals, and mesostructures).
2. Folding across the scales: origami/kirigami, biomaterials (proteins, RNA/DNA, chromosomes), programmable folding.
3. Morphogenesis, topological transformations and spatiotemporal organization: from the living world to self-organized systems and active matter.