Research Topic

Active Matter Meets Dynamical Systems

About this Research Topic

This Research Topic is open to all contributors and was inspired by the recent conference on Active Matter held at the Telluride Research Science Center, July 19-23rd 2021.

Nature provides many examples of active matter, ranging from flocks of birds, fish, and insects to sheets of cells and swarms of bacteria. In the lab, various attempts have been made to develop biomimetic and synthetic active materials, from self-propelled colloids and mechanically agitated flocks, to dense phases of biopolymers driven by molecular motors. This is a rich field of research and, to date, much theoretical work has been dedicated to understanding the fundamental physics of these fascinating and diverse systems. Active materials are non-equilibrium systems, and thus they cannot be described in the framework of conventional thermodynamics. The unifying theme of active matter is that collections of subunits consume energy locally, translate that energy into movement, and ultimately produce large-scale flows. This large-scale motion can produce rich emergent structures, including phase boundaries and topological defects, where local order breaks down.

This Research Topic will bring together researchers from different academic disciplines with a common interest in active materials, especially recently developed active nematics. This includes biologists, physicists, and material scientists, who have already been working in this new field, as well as researchers in nonlinear dynamics who may be new to this field of research. The goal is to bring together scientists with differing backgrounds and perspectives, both theoretical and experimental, to advance this burgeoning field.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following list:
• Active nematics
• Chaos in active fluids
• Non-linear dynamics of active fluids
• Flocking and swarming


Keywords: collective motion, flocking, topological defects, biopolymers, liquid crystals, nematic, chaos, active turbulence


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

This Research Topic is open to all contributors and was inspired by the recent conference on Active Matter held at the Telluride Research Science Center, July 19-23rd 2021.

Nature provides many examples of active matter, ranging from flocks of birds, fish, and insects to sheets of cells and swarms of bacteria. In the lab, various attempts have been made to develop biomimetic and synthetic active materials, from self-propelled colloids and mechanically agitated flocks, to dense phases of biopolymers driven by molecular motors. This is a rich field of research and, to date, much theoretical work has been dedicated to understanding the fundamental physics of these fascinating and diverse systems. Active materials are non-equilibrium systems, and thus they cannot be described in the framework of conventional thermodynamics. The unifying theme of active matter is that collections of subunits consume energy locally, translate that energy into movement, and ultimately produce large-scale flows. This large-scale motion can produce rich emergent structures, including phase boundaries and topological defects, where local order breaks down.

This Research Topic will bring together researchers from different academic disciplines with a common interest in active materials, especially recently developed active nematics. This includes biologists, physicists, and material scientists, who have already been working in this new field, as well as researchers in nonlinear dynamics who may be new to this field of research. The goal is to bring together scientists with differing backgrounds and perspectives, both theoretical and experimental, to advance this burgeoning field.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following list:
• Active nematics
• Chaos in active fluids
• Non-linear dynamics of active fluids
• Flocking and swarming


Keywords: collective motion, flocking, topological defects, biopolymers, liquid crystals, nematic, chaos, active turbulence


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

21 January 2022 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

21 January 2022 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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