Mechanics in Biology and Fluids

Mechanics in Biology combines the beauty and complexity of the natural word with the elegance of mathematical techniques. We in this group cover a wide range of problems from molecular scale to the motion of entire organisms. Much of our research is concerned with liquid motion—translocating through cellular pores, driven along capillaries by electrophoresis, and producing complex vortical patterns during aquatic propulsion.

Our research reaches from the microsecond time scale of water molecules hopping along atoms in carbon nanotubes, to the eons over which fluid mechanics acts to optimize the maneuverability of fish. Other research is developing general statistical mechanics techniques for investigating small systems:

  • What role do molecular motions play at the interface between a liquid and a solid?
  • How does a protein self-assemble into a precise structure despite being in a turbulent background of water molecules?

Our work is interactive—involving collaborations with experimentalists—interdisciplinary—working together with biologists and chemists—and imaginative—bringing together new ideas with concepts from many fields and researchers.