Coffee and snacks will precede the seminar at 3 p.m. in the Ford ES&T atrium (first floor)
Nikta Fakhri, Thomas D. & Virginia W. Cabot Career Development Associate Professor of Physics, MIT
“Broken symmetries in living matter”
Active processes in living systems create a novel class of nonequilibrium matter composed of many interacting components that individually consume energy and collectively generate motion or mechanical stress. In this talk, I will discuss experimental tools and conceptual frameworks we develop to uncover laws governing fluctuations, order, and self-organization in systems in which individual components break time reversal symmetry. I will describe how such frameworks provide powerful insight into dynamics of nonequilibrium living systems across scales, from the emergence of thermodynamic arrow of time to spatiotemporal organization of signaling protein patterns and discovery of odd elasticity.
Nikta is the Thomas D. and Virginia W. Cabot Career Development Professor in the Department of Physics at MIT and Physics of Living Systems Group. She completed her undergraduate degree at Sharif University of Technology and her PhD at Rice University.
She was a Human Frontier Science Program postdoctoral fellow at Georg-August-Universität in Göttingen, Germany before joining MIT. Nikta is an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow in Physics. She is the recipient of the 2018 IUPAP Young Scientist Prize in Biological Physics and the 2019 NSF CAREER Award.