Active matter

Living matter is inherently active, and out of equilibrium. In the past we investigated novel self-assembled structures that can be achieved in active, energy-driven,  systems, but have not been observed in equilibrium systems. For example, we have shown that self-propelling attractive spherical particles can form fluid–like “living” clusters which dynamically grow and shrink, a property usually attributed to living systems. Their emergence can be explained and quantified in terms of the balance between active forces and regression to thermodynamic equilibrium.