College of Science

Seminar: Jiajia Dong [Bucknell University]

From a traffic model to protein synthesis and beyond: insights from non-equilibrium statistical mechanics

Jan 10, 2017 11:00 AM to Jan 10, 2017 12:00 PM at Building 8 - Room 241

Statistical mechanics (SM) for systems in thermal equilibrium, founded over a century ago, forms part of the current physics core curriculum. However, like most homework problems do not find immediate application in real situations, textbook equilibrium SM falls short of characterizing systems in non-equilibrium (NE), such as living organisms. An overarching theoretical framework of NESM remains elusive and has been attracting increasing interest from physicists.

In this talk, I contrast the key features of NESM with the familiar ESM. To illustrate how tools developed in NESM help untangle the complex biological process, we then zoom in on a particle transport model (the totally asymmetric simple exclusion process, or TASEP) and its application in theoretical biological problems such as protein synthesis. We discuss the quantitative effects of interaction among transcribing RNA polymerases. We conclude with some ongoing projects and open questions that nestle on the interface of physics and biology to set the stage for further investigation in this field.

10:50 a.m. Refreshments

11:00 a.m. Seminar

Building 8 - Room 241

For further information, please call (909) 869-4014