Casimir Course Physics of Life



15:00-17:00 hrs


Room A1.100 of building 58, Van der Maasweg 9, Delft


About the course: In this course, that will only be in our program once, an overview of the physics of living systems will be given. This field has experienced tremendous growth and excitement in recent years, with areas of focus ranging across all scales, from dynamic processes and structural organisation at the cellular scale to the evolutionary and ecological dynamics of populations. The lectures will focus on the main concepts from physics that are relevant for an understanding of the fundamental principles governing complex processes in cellular systems. This includes information processing, control theory, self-assembly, self-organization, pattern formation, as well as evolutionary dynamics.

About the lecturer: This year, we have the honor to host professor Erwin Frey, Chair for Statistical and Biological Physics at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, as Kavli Chair. At LMU, the Frey group focuses on collective effects in the dynamics of complex systems. They are interested in how the interplay between stochastic fluctuations, interactions, and geometry shapes system-level properties and their functional characteristics. A central goal of their research is to identify and characterize universal action principles, and thereby develop a mechanistic understanding of system features. To this end, analytical and numerical methods from non-equilibrium statistical physics and nonlinear dynamics are used and developed further. For a popular account of prof. Frey's research interests please refer to the newsletter of LMU Munich insightLMU.

Course dates: The course will consist of 8 afternoon sessions on the following dates: 

  1. Mon 19 Aug
  2. Wed 21 Aug
  3. Mon 26 Aug
  4. Wed 28 Aug
  5. Mon 9 Sep
  6. Tue 10 Sep
  7. Mon 16 Sep
  8. Wed 18 Sep
Credits: This course requires 16 hrs of self-study. Reading material will be announced shortly. Upon completing the course, PhD students will receive a certificate of 4 GSC.
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