One of the best ways to expand your knowledge is to attend seminars, preferably in a variety of topics. Faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students are highly encouraged to attend our weekly seminars, and also seminars given in other departments. Unless otherwise noted, the PAMS department seminars are held on

Thursdays, at 4:00 p.m., in Kemper Hall, room 206.

Fall 2019 Seminar Schedule

Date Speaker Title
Aug. 22 1st week of classes: No seminar
Aug. 29

Rajan Khadka, MSU

Muztoba Rabbani, MSU TBA
Sep. 5

Hayley Sohn
University of Colorado Boulder

Active Liquid Crystal Skyrmions

Note: Hayley is a former MSU student, and will hold an informal session (2:30 p.m. in Kemper 101M) with students to discuss the PhD process and her experience. Anyone interested in graduate school is encouraged to attend and chat with Hayley.

Abstract: The coexistence of order and fluidity in soft condensed matter often mimics that found in biological cells, which allows for complex collective dynamics and highly technological applications, like displays and sensors. In active soft matter, different forms of emergent order can even arise because of the out-of-equilibrium dynamic behavior, powered by local energy conversion. We show that this emergent ordering can mimic behavior of familiar living systems with coherent motion, like crowds of people and schools of fish. Most active matter systems are biological in origin, although the discovery of inanimate, purely synthetic particles capable of such emergent behavior would enable new breeds of materials and nanomachines. Such examples are limited, typically with chemical or mechanical agitation sources of energy.
     Here we show that millions of particle-like topological solitons, dubbed “skyrmions”, can exhibit collective dynamics when each converting macroscopically supplied electric energy into motion along spontaneously selected directions uncorrelated with the direction of electric field. We demonstrate that this motion emerges mainly from spatially asymmetric changes of director structures that evolve non-reciprocally upon the application and removal of an electric field, so that the periodic modulation of an applied field yields net translational motion of solitons. Uniquely to our system, the emergent orderly motion and giant number fluctuations in “schools” of liquid crystal skyrmions, generated at large number densities, are tuned by the inter-skyrmion cohesion that stems from the orientational elasticity of the chiral nematic host. We uncover how liquid crystal skyrmions convert electric energy into motion and self-organize into various types of clusters and chains, moving together like dynamic schools that exhibit a tunable crossover of active matter behavior and promise many technological uses.
Sep. 12 Sabila Kader Pinky, MSU TBA
Md Ashif Anwar, MSU TBA
Sep. 19    
Sep. 26    
Oct. 3 Dr. Alexander Kozhanov
Georgia State University
Oct. 10 Fall holiday: No seminar

Oct. 16 (Wed.)

Dr. Lloyd Lumata
University of Texas Dallas


Note! This is a joint seminar with Chemistry, on Wednesday, 3:30 p.m., in Glass Hall 346.
Oct. 24

Dr. Marco Cavaglià
Missouri University of Science and Technology

Oct. 31 Dr. Rao Khan
Washington University in St. Louis, School of Medicine
Nov. 7    
Nov. 14    
Nov. 21

Dr. Hugh Churchill
University of Arkansas

Nov. 28 Thanksgiving: No seminar
Dec. 5    
Dec. 12 Finals week: No seminar