Researchers from the Millennium Nucleus travel to Spain and Luxembourg to strengthen scientific collaborations


In order to deepen the scientific collaboration between the researchers of the Millennium Nucleus Physics of Active Matter and the academics of the Complutense University of Madrid, Barcelona and Extremadura; the Director of the Nucleus, Rodrigo Soto, traveled at the end of February to Spain, city where he will hold a busy agenda scheduled up to March 10th.
Ph.D. Soto was invited to the Spanish capital by the academic from the Department of Applied Physics of the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM), Ricardo Brito, within the framework of the TerMic project (Thermodynamics in micro-scale). This initiative is directed by the doctor in Physics, Juan Manuel Rodríguez Parrondo, a professor at the university and who, in addition, is a senior researcher at the Millennium Nucleus. “We already have a very productive collaboration in the study of granular media and in the forces generated by fluctuations, which we want to extend to the study of active matter,” Soto says.
The agenda of the director of the Millennium Nucleus in Madrid has been as wide as fruitful. Among his meetings stands out the one he had with Ricardo Brito (UCM) and the researchers Chantal Valeriani and Ignacio Pagonabarraga (University of Barcelona), to analyze models of active matter and the auto assembly of active molecules and the separation of their phases.” These meetings are very important for the Nucleus because they allow us to create new collaborations in the study of the active matter, generate new researches, exchange students and cover problems from a much broader perspective,” says Soto.
In addition, he has held meetings with the physicists of the UCM, doctors Luis Dinis and J. M. Rodríguez Parrondo to explore future collaborations; with Ricardo Brito (UCM) and Ignacio Martínez (UCM), to analyze the design of experiments to measure the temporal development of forces induced by fluctuations and with Ricardo Brito (UCM) and Vicente Garzó (University of Extremadura) to finish writing an article on granular media dynamics and plan a future research.

Since the beginning of 2018, Rodrigo Soto is not the only one who has reinforced the international scientific collaboration of the Nucleus. During the first half of January, Dr. Felipe Barra, associate researcher of the Millennium Nucleus traveled to Luxembourg to meet with the physicist Massimiliano Esposito (University of Luxembourg) and Juan Manuel Rodríguez Parrondo (UCM) who traveled from Madrid to the appointment.
In this picture; Felipe Barra (U. Chile) and Massimiliano Esposito (U. of Luxembourg), bothering Juan Manuel Rodríguez Parrondo (UCM), who insisted on the importance of considering wave packages in the research they are carrying out.
Ph.D. Barra carries out an investigation with both European physicists, which consists in studying the thermodynamic quantities of a quantum system when it changes state, after suffering several collisions with other systems. An investigation that is based on a publication made by the physicist of the University of Chile, in 2015, in which he analyzed this process. “Usually an approximation is made to study these processes. This approximation has quite subtle consequences when comparing the thermodynamic quantities of the exact process with those of the process described in an approximate way. Moreover, if you analyze thermodynamically the approximate process, you can conclude (wrongly) that this process cannot exist in nature, it would be possible to violate the second law of thermodynamics,” he explains.
Even though this research is not related to the active matter, both Barra and Parrondo -both researchers from the Nucleus- took advantage of the occasion to plan future research in the area. “We discussed which problems would be interesting to address from the perspective of thermodynamics in the active matter.”