Public lecture by Cristina Marchetti on 'Flocking birds, marching penguins and the marvelous physics of active matter'



19:00 - 21:00 hrs


Museum Volkenkunde, Leiden


This lecture by Cristina Marchetti wants to share with the general public how physicists think about bird flocks, marching penguins, collectively swarming bacteria and communities of simple robots, working independently and yet collectively toward a common goal.

In 1995, the mysterious beauty of collective motion in animals and other non-equilibrium systems was about to take the physics community back to square one of its understanding of emergent phenomena. Twenty five years later, active matter has evolved into one of the most vibrant and productive areas of physics, with hundreds of articles published every year. On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the field of active matter (plus the two years interruption caused by the Covid pandemic), the Leiden Institute of Physics (LION) and the Lorentz Center are gathering in Leiden the pioneers and the current protagonists of this exciting research area to look ahead at the next grand challenge.

Cristina Marchetti is one of the world’s leading researcher in the physics of emergent phenomena. She is a member of the National Academy of Science (USA), the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a pioneer of the field of “active matter”.

Date                    24 August, 2022
Location               Museum Volkenkunde, Steenstraat 1, 2312 BS Leiden
Program              19:00 open door and refreshments
                           20:00 start lecture
                           21:00 end lecture
Registration      Entry is free, but please reserve a seat (maximum capacity is 150 persons) by sending an email to
Print and take the email with you as proof of reservation.