Physical Chemistry Seminar: Drive-specific selection in multistable mechanical networks

Prof. Jeremy L. England, Visiting Professor, Department of Physics, Bar-Ilan University

11 July 2024, 15:00 
Multidisciplinary Building, Room 315 
Physical Chemistry Seminar


Systems with many stable configurations abound in nature, both in living and inanimate matter, encoding a rich variety of behaviors. In equilibrium, a multistable system is more likely to be found in configurations with lower energy, but the presence of an external drive can alter the relative stability of different configurations in unexpected ways. Living systems are examples par excellence of metastable nonequilibrium attractors whose structure and stability are highly dependent on the specific form and pattern of the energy flow sustaining them. Taking this distinctively lifelike behavior as inspiration, we sought to investigate the more general physical phenomenon of drive-specific selection in nonequilibrium dynamics. To do so, we numerically studied driven disordered mechanical networks of bistable springs possessing a vast number of stable configurations arising from the two stable rest lengths of each spring, thereby capturing the essential physical properties of a broad class of multistable systems. We found that there exists a range of forcing amplitudes for which the attractor states of driven disordered multistable mechanical networks are fine-tuned with respect to the pattern of external forcing to have low energy absorption from it. Additionally, we found that these drive-specific attractor states are further stabilized by precise matching between the multidimensional shape of their orbit and that of the potential energy well they inhabit. Lastly, we showed evidence of drive-specific selection in an experimental system and proposed a general method to estimate the range of drive amplitudes for drive-specific selection.



Seminar Organizer: Dr. Guy Cohen




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