PIMS - CSC Seminar: Theodore Kolokolnikov

  • Date: 10/30/2015
  • Time: 15:30
Theodore Kolokolnikov, Dalhousie University

Simon Fraser University


Swarms: from molecular dynamics to biological aggregations


Aggregation is an ubiquitous natural phenomenon that pervades both the animal world and many inanimate physical systems. In the animal kingdom, group formation is observed across all levels from bacterial colonies and insect swarms to complex predator-prey interactions in fish, birds and mammals. Aggregation is also present in physical systems at all scales from the smallest (Bose-Einstein Condensates, DNA buckyball molecules, fluid vortices) to the largest (galaxies). The emergence of group behaviour is often a consequence of individuals (or atoms) following very simple rules, without any external coordination.


In this talk I will describe some simple models of swarms that are motivated by well-known physical systems. While they may not capture the fine details of biological interactions, these models are simple enough that many of their properties can be studied analytically in great detail. This in turn can shed light about the role of swarming in biological systems. For example, is swarming behaviour helpful in avoiding a predator? Conversely, the study of biological models can also lead to new insights into related physical models.

Other Information: 

Location: TASC-2, Rm 8500