Debut of the cycle of talks of the University of Chile


Rodrigo Soto, academic of the Department of Physics FCFM and director of the Millennium Nucleus Physics of Active Matter gathered more than 250 people in the Honour Hall of the Central House.

Nor the football game of Chile vs Ecuador can beat the real interest of the people for science.

Between 19:00 and 20:30 last Thursday, more than 250 people attended the talk “The Physics of life” given by Doctor Rodrigo Soto, director of the Millennium Nucleus Physics of Active Matter.

In a Honour Hall almost at full capacity, the professor of University of Chile exposed about the new paradigm of the physics: the living organisms that move in a collective way forming structures increasingly complex. We can see these structures in the nature in all sizes, from flocks of birds or shoals of fishes to bacterial suspensions, which move as real swarms.

Is that what physicists call active matter, a term coined in the last 20 years and that also include artificial swimmers, which in experiments have exhibited similar movements. Why do they move collectively? It is possible to predict their behaviour?

With a simple language and didactic examples, Rodrigo Soto explained the questions that physicists are asking themselves today in order to understand these systems, and the applications in medicine and nanotechnology that could arise if was possible to know and predict their properties. “There is people interested in science. Yesterday, the hall was full of persons listening about physics for more than an hour, in a day that the Chilean soccer team played, highly advertised by the media. However, people came, participated and asked questions. I appreciate that the talk was housed in such a centric campus, allowing an easy access to all interested people, and that the University opens this space for the academy to approach the population.” said Rodrigo Soto.

The talk counted with the presence of the Dean of the Faculty of Physical and Mathematical Sciences of the University of Chile, Patricio Aceituno, and it is the first of a series of public talks that organize this faculty and the Extension and Communication Vice-Rectory during the month of October.

Talk of Physics in Central House

The following talks scheduled are: ” Where the simple and the complex coexist: Granular media”, by PhD Nicolas Mujica (October 12th); ” The challenge of the small: Microfluidics, a laboratory in miniature”, by PhD Maria Luisa Cordero (October 19th); and ” Nanotechnology: exploring a small world to design a giant world”, by PhD Marcos Flores (October 26th). All talks are free and will be in the Central House of the University of Chile.