Computer simulation of soft matter_

Talk by Prof. Mike Allen, University of Warwick, United Kingdom

Computer simulation of soft matter

This talk will describe Monte Carlo simulation studies of simple models of two kinds of soft matter: colloidal suspensions, and peptides. The first story will involve our attempts to calculate the Frank elastic constants of liquid crystalline phases formed by suspensions of thin platelets.

Elegant experiments in the Lekkerkerker group in Utrecht have succeeded in measuring these. The question is, can we relate them to the shapes and sizes of the particles, by doing simulations and applying statistical mechanical theories? The second story is about understanding the way biomolecules, such as peptides and proteins, adsorb onto solid surfaces, often directing crystal growth in a way that is crucial to the formation of biominerals (for instance in seashells and eggshells). Our work focuses on very simple peptide models, but we also aim to make contact with more realistic simulations and, ultimately, experiment, and I shall try to set the work in this context.

Campus Limpertsberg
Room BCE-E02-008

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