Mathematical Problems of Orientationally Ordered Soft Solids (16w5021)



(International School for Advanced Studies, Trieste, Italy)

(McGill University)


The Casa Matemática Oaxaca (CMO) will host the "Mathematical Problems of Orientationally Ordered Soft Solids" workshop from September 4th to September 9th, 2016.

Soft solids with orientational order play an important role both in advanced technological applications and living matter. Their essential feature is flexible response to environmental stimuli, such as mechanical forces, changes in chemical composition, electric field, or illumination, which control their physical properties and shape. This might be the reason why Nature has chosen soft oriented solids as a basic building material in the course of evolution. It is also the reason for the current interest in high-tech applications of these materials as actuators, sensors, and flexible electro-optical devices. Self-organlzed patterns and forms in soft solids may imitate natural morphogenesis, and their study may both facilitate progress in biomimetic engineering and serve for better understanding of natural morphogenetic processes.

Studies of orientable soft materials pose challenging mathematical problems, in view of the necessity to follow the evolution of several interconnected fields: orientational order parameter, deformation, mechanical stress, and chemical composition. Interactions of this fields lead to various instabilities and self-organisation phenomena. The workshop will bring together different, so far disconnected aspects of state-of-art knowledge: elasticity theory, pattern formation, mesoscopic aspects of soft matter physics, and biological or biomimetic morphogenesis.

The Casa Matemática Oaxaca (CMO) in Mexico, and the Banff International Research Station for Mathematical Innovation and Discovery (BIRS) in Banff, are collaborative Canada-US-Mexico ventures that provide an environment for creative interaction as well as the exchange of ideas, knowledge, and methods within the Mathematical Sciences, with related disciplines and with industry.

The research station in Banff is supported by Canada's Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), Alberta's Advanced Education and Technology, and Mexico's Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT). The research station in Oaxaca is funded by CONACYT.