About the Project
In three dimensions, the defects arise as lines and closed loops, rather than simple points, and exhibit a complex interplay between geometric structure and topology-aﬀected dynamics . The materials can adopt a natural or spontaneous twisting to produce a preferred chirality, and they support a variety of fascinating localised solitons. In this project we will develop the theoretical understanding of three-dimensional active liquid crystals, with focus on their topological defects, soliton structures and geometric characteristics. We will combine analytical descriptions of defect loops and the active ﬂows they generate with numerical solutions of the full non-linear hydrodynamic equations to establish their dynamic properties, instabilities and phase behaviour. These insights will allow us to extend the existing connections between active liquid crystals and living systems to bulk three-dimensional cell structures, tissues and their morphology. A further direction will be to determine how three-dimensional active materials may be controlled geometrically and topologically – for instance by boundaries, inclusions, or applied ﬁelds – and subsequently designed to create artiﬁcial active metamaterials.
For further information, please contact: [Email Address Removed]
Applications are accepted at any time, but it is likely that interviews will be from late January onwards.
The Physics department is proud to be an IOP Juno Champion and a winner of an Athena Swan Silver Award, reflecting our commitment to equal opportunity and to fostering an environment in which all can excel.
 A. Doostmohammadi, J. Ign´es-Mullol, J.M. Yeomans, and F. Sagu´es, Active nematics, Nat. Commun. 9, 3246 (2018).
 J. Binysh, ˇZ. Kos, S. ˇCopar, M. Ravnik, and G.P. Alexander, Three-Dimensional Active Defect Loops, arXiv:1909.07109 [cond-mat.soft].
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