“Avalanches in active matter and sheared granular systems”
Presented by Professor M. Lisa Manning
Director of the BioInspired Institute, Syracuse University
Under shear, granular materials and other amorphous solids fail via localized particle rearrangements that often coalesce into avalanches, but a microscopic explanation of the dynamics of avalanches has remained out of reach. Moreover, dense active matter – including bacterial swarms, biological tissues or even Janus colloidal particles – exhibit many of these same features, with no rigorous explanation. I will discuss some of our recent work to characterize the dynamics of avalanches and relate them to microscopic structural features. Next, I will discuss a direct link between active matter and sheared solids. Specifically, we have recently developed an analytic mean-field model for avalanche statistics in both sheared and active matter, and then demonstrated that those infinite-dimension predictions are surprisingly accurate in 2D computer simulations. These results suggest a universal framework for predicting flow, deformation, and failure in active and sheared disordered materials.
M. Lisa Manning is Director of the BioInspired Institute and the William R. Kenan Professor of Physics at Syracuse University. Her research focuses on the mechanical properties of biological tissues and the failure of disordered materials. She earned her B.S. in Physics and B.A. in Mathematics from the University of Virginia in 2002, before attending graduate school at UC Santa Barbara, where she earned a Ph.D. in Physics in 2008, advised by Jean Carlson and James Langer. She worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Princeton Center for Theoretical Science from 2008 until she joined faculty at Syracuse University in 2011. Prof. Manning has given over 150 invited talks and published 55 peer-reviewed articles. She has received several honors and awards including being named to the Science News “Top 10 Scientists to watch” list, 2018 Maria Goeppert Mayer Award from the APS, 2016 IUPAP Young Investigator Prize, a Simons Investigator award, a Sloan Fellowship, a Scialog award, as well as several teaching awards. As an NSF CAREER awardee and a Cottrell Scholar, she has also developed innovative programs to help recruit and retain a diverse group of scientists in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields.