In contrast to the conventional passive particles such as atoms and molecules with random thermal motions, self-propelled active particles, such as bacterial, active colloids etc., can form new states of matters with many novel properties. They provide an ideal platform to study the poorly understood non-equilibrium physics and become a very active research area in recent several years. We developed a novel active particle systems composed of hollow spheres (e.g. pingpong balls) with small motors inside. They can exhibit different types of translational and rotational motions.
The UROP student will collaborate with the PG student and postdoc in our group, and learn the image analysis to track the particles' motions. The student will explore the collective behaviors of active particles, such as pattern formation, phase transitions between crystal, glass, liquid and gas phases. Each topic could produce good publications. The research is suitable for multiple semesters for year 1-4 UG students in science or engineering majors.
To record the motions of particles with a camera.
To learn the image analysis of particle tracking.
To explore novel phenomena in systems composed of many active and/or passive particles and understand their mechanisms if time permits