Mathematical Analysis of Soft Matter (24w5249)


(McMaster University)

(Johns Hopkins University)

Carme Calderer (University of Minnesota)

Arghir Zarnescu (Basque Center for Applied Mathematics)


The Banff International Research Station will host the “Mathematical Analysis of Soft Matter” workshop in Banff from June 30 - July 5, 2024.

Soft matter covers a broad spectrum of materials, from liquid crystals to foams and granular matter. Liquid crystals, for example, can flow like liquids but also exhibit elastic effects associated with orientational order. Although continuum mechanics typically deals with smooth fields, an orientational order parameter describing a nematic generally exhibits topological singularities so that classical equations can not hold everywhere. The static configurations of these materials are typically described using a singularly perturbed energy that depends on the gradient of the order parameter and penalizes deviations of the order parameter from a limiting manifold. The principal mathematical difficulties that arise in the analysis of models arising in soft matter research deal with description of singular sets of energy minimizers as well as their evolution. The group of researchers that will take part in this workshop will outline main challenges in the field, methods for tackling them, as well as present significant recent developments.

The Banff International Research Station for Mathematical Innovation and Discovery (BIRS) is a collaborative Canada-US-Mexico venture that provides 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 is located at The Banff Centre in Alberta and 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).