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Seminars - Winter term 2017/2018

Seminar “Special problems in colloidal physics”

Location: HHU Düsseldorf, Seminarroom 25.32.O2.51
Fri 27.10.2017   S. Goh  Interfacial Shocks in the Dynamics of 1D Ferrogels  14:30 s.t.
Thu 16.11.2017   C. Hoell  Dynamical density functional theory for microswimmers  14:30 s.t.
Mon 20.11.2017   B. Liebchen  t.b.a.  14:30 s.t.
Fri 01.12.2017   A. Ider  t.b.a.  14:30 s.t.
Mon 11.12.2017   S. Jahanshahi  t.b.a.  14:30 s.t.
Mon 18.12.2017   C. Scholz  t.b.a.  14:30 s.t.
Fri 19.01.2018   S. Babel  t.b.a.  14:30 s.t.
Fri 26.01.2018   N. Siboni  t.b.a.  14:30 s.t.
Wed 31.01.2018   M. Eshraghi  t.b.a.  14:30 s.t.
Prof. Dr. H. Löwen


Seminar “Special problems in computer simulation of soft matter”

Location: HHU Düsseldorf, Seminarroom 25.32.O2.51
Thu 12.10.2017   Z. Guo  The stability of nanobubbles in the bulk  14:30 s.t.
Mon 20.11.2017   B. Liebchen  t.b.a.  14:30 s.t.
Mon 11.12.2017   S. Jahanshahi  t.b.a.  14:30 s.t.
Thu 25.01.2018   M. Golkia  t.b.a.  14:30 s.t.
Fri 26.01.2018   N. Siboni  t.b.a.  14:30 s.t.
Wed 31.01.2018   M. Eshraghi  t.b.a.  14:30 s.t.
Thu 01.02.2018   S. Ganguly  t.b.a.  14:30 s.t.
Prof. Dr. J. Horbach


Seminar “Soft Matter”

Location: HHU Düsseldorf, Seminarroom 25.32.O2.51
Fri 15.12.2017   Marco Heinen  Universidad de Guanajuato, León, Mexico  14:30 s.t.
Marco Heinen: „Structure and Diffusion of a Fractal Hard Sphere Fluid”
Universidad de Guanajuato, León, Mexico - Seminar@HHUD: 15.12.17 14:30 s.t., Seminarroom 25.32 O2.51

Porous media can host complex fluids in a non-integer (fractal) dimensional configuration space. An example of high application relevance is reservoir rock containing oil, water, natural gas, or multiphase mixtures thereof. The fractal structure of porous media, and the diffusion of single particles through the pores of such media are well-studied problems. However, dense fluid phases of strongly interacting particles in fractal confinement have not yet received the same attention and remain mostly unexplored until today. In recent work [1] we have introduced statistical mechanical methods to compute the equilibrium correlations among dense, disordered phases of mesoscopic particles in 1:68(2)-dimensional fractal confinement by Monte Carlo simulations. Our simulation results are in good agreement with the predictions of the Percus-Yevick integral equation, analytically continued from integer to non-integer dimension and solved numerically by a spectral method. The anomalous diffusive dynamics of fractal hard spheres in thermodynamic equilibrium is probed by fractal Dynamic Monte Carlo simulations, and reveals a number of peculiarities that are not observed for point particles in fractal dimension, nor for hard spheres in integer dimension: Extended hard spheres in fractal dimension exhibit anomalous diffusion with two different (short-time and long-time) exponents of the mean squared displacement as a function of time, even in case of non-interacting particles that form an ideal gas. For dense fluids of interacting, non-overlapping fractal hard spheres, we observe a superposition of anomalous diffusion, due to the fractal configuration space, and subdiffusion due to the particle interactions at intermediate time scales.


  1. M. Heinen, S.K. Schnyder, J.F. Brady & H. Löwen, PRL 115, 052301 (2015)
Structure and Diffusion of a Fractal Hard Sphere Fluid
Thu 23.11.2017   Hendrik Bartsch  Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Stuttgart  14:30 s.t.
Hendrik Bartsch: „Insights into the diversity of smectic phases in ionic liquid crystals”
Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Stuttgart - Seminar@HHUD: 23.11.17 14:30 s.t., Seminarroom 25.32 O2.51

Ionic liquid crystals (ILCs) are anisotropic mesogenic molecules which carry charges and therefore combine properties of liquid crystals, e.g., the formation of mesophases, and of ionic liquids, such as low melting temperatures and tiny triple-point pressures. Previous density functional calculations have revealed that the phase behavior of ILCs is strongly affected by their molecular properties, i.e., their aspect ratio, the loci of the charges, and their interaction strengths. Here, we report new findings concerning the phase behavior of ILCs as obtained by density functional theory and Monte Carlo simulations. The most important result is the occurrence of a novel, wide smectic-A phase, at low temperature, the layer spacing of which is larger than that of the ordinary high-temperature smectic-A phase.

Insights into the diversity of smectic phases in ionic liquid crystals
Thu 14.09.2017   Jaydeb Chakrabarti  S. N. Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences, Kolkata, India  15:30 s.t.
Jaydeb Chakrabarti: „Heterogeneous Dynamics in a Driven System”
S. N. Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences, Kolkata, India - Seminar@HHUD: 14.9.17 15:30 s.t., Seminarroom 25.32 O2.51

We consider a system consisting of a binary mixture of oppositely charged colloidal particles driven by a constant electric field via Brownian Dynamics simulations. We observe crossover in dynamics: from an initial fast relaxation in the homogeneous state to a slowed-down lane state via a pre-lane state with anomalous dynamical responses in terms of a non-Fickian exponential tail in self-van Hove functions and a stretched exponential relaxation in both distinct van Hove functions and self-overlap functions. The anomaly results from distribution of particle diffusion which is also reflected via the broadening in the dynamical susceptibility. In contrast, in the lane state, the dynamical susceptibility show distinct peaks due to enhanced separation of timescales due to distinct responses in the coexisting slow and fast particles. Furthermore, we investigate how the growth of structural heterogeneity in the system induces the dynamic heterogeneity and the associated slowing down in the steady states. In order to probe this, the time evolution of the dynamical and structural quantities is monitored after the system is suddenly exposed to the field. The ‘prelane’ state show signatures of aging while the lane state forms via rapid decrease in diffusion as time progresses.

Heterogeneous Dynamics in a Driven System
Mon 04.09.2017   Simone Dussi  Utrecht University, The Netherlands  14:30 s.t.
Simone Dussi: „When shape is enough”
Utrecht University, The Netherlands - Seminar@HHUD: 4.9.2017 14:30 s.t., Seminarroom 25.32 O2.51

I will give an overview of my PhD, in which I studied entropy-driven phase transitions in colloidal systems [1-7]. By using computer simulations and theory, we have shown that the particle shape is enough for the formation of several thermodynamic phases.

In this talk, I will focus on chiral and biaxial liquid crystal phases. In particular, I will highlight the problem of predicting the macroscopic chiral behaviour of liquid crystals from the microscopic chirality of the particles. By introducing a novel chiral particle model, namely particles with a twisted polyhedral shape, we obtain a stable fully-entropy-driven cholesteric phase by computer simulations [4]. By slightly modifying the triangular base of the particle, we are able to switch from a left-handed prolate to a right-handed oblate cholesteric using the same right-handed twisted particle model. Furthermore, we find qualitative agreement with the theoretical prediction based on a second-virial theory, that we previously applied to hard helices [2,3]. Our results unveil how the competition between particle biaxiality and chirality is directly transmitted at a higher level into the nematic phases.

This will contribute to identify the design rules based on particle shape needed to guide the synthesis and the self-assembly of the future colloidal building blocks.


  1. B. de Nijs*, S. Dussi*, F. Smallenburg, J. Meeldijk, D. Groenendijk, L. Filion, A. Imhof, A. van Blaaderen, M. Dijkstra - Nature Materials 14, 56 (2015)
  2. S. Belli, S. Dussi, M. Dijkstra,R. van Roij - Phys. Rev. E 90, 020503(R) (2014)
  3. S. Dussi, S. Belli, R. van Roij, M. Dijkstra - J. Chem. Phys. 142, 074905 (2015)
  4. S. Dussi, M. Dijkstra - Nature Communications 7,11175 (2016)
  5. HE Bakker, S Dussi, et al. - Soft Matter 12, 9238 (2016)
  6. M. Marechal, S. Dussi , M. Dijkstra - J. Chem. Phys. 146, 124905 (2017)
  7. S. Dussi, N. Tasios, M. Dijkstra, "Recipes for biaxial colloidal liquid crystals", in preparation
When shape is enough
Mon 31.07.2017   Pinaki Chaudhuri  The Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai, India  14:30 s.t.
Long-range dynamic correlations during aging of gels
Fri 28.07.2017   Suvendu Mandal  Universität Innsbruck, Austria  14:30 s.t.
Suvendu Mandal: „The dynamics of driven and active Brownian particles”
Universität Innsbruck, Austria - Seminar@HHUD: 28.7.17 14:30 s.t., Seminarroom 25.32 O2.51

While the linear response is well-characterized in terms of the fluctuation-dissipation theorem, few exact results are available for strong driving. Here we study the time-dependent velocity of a colloidal particle immersed in a dilute suspension of hard spheres in response to a step force switched on at time zero using Brownian dynamics simulations. Our main quantity of interest is the time-dependent mobility and its approach to the stationary state mobility. A stationary state solution for the mobility exact in first order of the packing fraction has been established earlier in terms of a power-series expansion with respect to the force on the tracer particle [1]. We extend this result to the case of arbitrarily strong driving including the complete time-dependence of the response upon switching on the force. We show that in the stationary state, our analytic solution recovers the anticipated limit for strong driving [1] and captures the response in first order of the packing fraction for any strength of the force.

We also investigate active colloidal hard-sphere glasses using Brownian dynamics simulations. While the properties of passive colloidal glasses are fairly understood over the years, not much is known for active colloidal glasses. In this talk we discuss the decoupling between active speed and rotational diffusion in colloidal glasses. These findings agree with theoretical predictions obtained by the mode-coupling theory of the glass transition.


  1. T. M. Squires and J. F. Brady, Physics of Fluids 17, 0731
The dynamics of driven and active Brownian particles
Wed 26.07.2017   Vladimir S. Filinov  Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia  14:30 s.t.
Vladimir S. Filinov: „Peculiarities of momentum distribution functions of strongly correlated charged fermions”
Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia - Seminar@HHUD: 26.7.17 14:30 s.t., Seminarroom 25.32 O2.51

The main difficulty for path integral Monte Carlo studies of Fermi systems results from the requirement of antisymmetrization of the density matrix [1] and is known in literature as the ′sign problem′ [2-6] . To overcome this issue the new numerical version of the Wigner approach to quantum mechanics for treatment thermodynamic properties of degenerate systems of fermions has been developed. The new path integral representation of quantum Wigner function in the phase space has been obtained for canonical ensemble. Explicit analytical expression of the Wigner function accounting for Fermi statistical effects by effective pair pseudopotential has been presented. Derived pseudopotential depends on coordinates, momenta and degeneracy parameter of fermions and takes into account coordinate – momentum principle uncertainly.

The new quantum Monte-Carlo method for calculations of average values of arbitrary quantum operators has been proposed.

To test the developed approach calculations of the momentum distribution function of the degenerate ideal system of Fermi particles has been carried out in a good agreement with analytical Fermi distributions.

On other hand the first results on influence of interparticle interaction on momentum distribution functions show appearance of quantum "tails" in the Fermi distributions.


  1. Feynman R P and Hibbs A R (1965) Quantum Mechanics and Path Integrals (New York: McGraw-Hill)
  2. Filinov V S (2014) High Temperature, 52, 615
  3. Filinov V (2001) J. Phys. A: Math. Gen. 34, 1665
  4. McMahon J M, Morales M A, Pierleoni C, Ceperley D (2012) Rev. Mod. Phys. 84 1607
  5. Ceperley D (1991) J.Stat. Phys. 63 1237; (1992) Phys. Rev. Let. 69 331
  6. Militzer B and Pollock R (2000) Phys. Rev. E 61, 3470
  7. Galitskii V M and Yakimets V V (1967) Zh. Eksp. Teor. Fiz. 51 957; 1967 Sov. Phys. JETP 24 637
  8. Eletskii A V, Starostin A N and Taran M D (2005) Physics - Uspekhi 48 281
Peculiarities of momentum distribution functions of strongly correlated charged fermions
Tue 25.07.2017   Surajit Sengupta  TIFR, Hyderabad, India  15:30 s.t.
Do thermodynamically stable rigid crystals exist?
Mon 10.07.2017   Smarajit Karmakar  TIFR, Hyderabad, India  15:30 s.t.
Growth of Amorphous Order and its role in the Dynamics of Supercooled Liquids
Prof. Dr. Egelhaaf, Prof. Dr. Horbach, Prof. Dr. Löwen



File: poroSys Talkslist



Location: HHU Düsseldorf, Lecture Hall 5J (Building 25.31 Level 00)
Thu 20.07.2017   Prof. Dr. Tanja Schilling  Universität Freiburg  16:30 s.t.
Prof. Dr. Tanja Schilling: „Playful Physics”
Universität Freiburg - Seminar@HHUD: 20.07.2017 16:30 s.t., Lecture hall 25.31 O0.5J

Chemotactic motion is the motion of living organisms in response to chemical signals as e.g. motion of bacteria towards sources of food. We discuss chemotaxis in a porous medium using as a model a biased (6quot;hungry") random walk on a percolating cluster. Incidentally, the model closely resembles the 1980s arcade game Pac-Man. We observe that, on the percolating cluster, the hungry random walker's mean-squared displacement shows anomalous dynamics that follow a power law with a dynamical exponent different from both that of a self avoiding random walk as well as that of an unbiased random walk. The change in dynamics with the propensity to move towards food is well described by a dynamical exponent that depends continuously on this propensity.

In the second part we apply a similar, physics-based approach to a more complex game, the game of chess. The complexity of a game is usually estimated in terms of the size of its state space (i.e. the number of possible configurations) and the size of its game tree (i.e. the number of distinct possible games). For chess these have been estimated to be on the order of its game tree (i.e. the number of distinct possible games). For chess these have been estimated to be on the order of 1042 resp 10120 . A chess player's experience however, shows that many possible configurations never occur in real play. The connectivity of state-space seems to matter significantly for the complexity. Using transition path sampling we show that the state space of chess consists of ca. 1020 pockets that are only weakly connected. The pockets are distinguished mainly by their pawn structure. Real games take place only in a few of these pockets. That chess is still highly complex can be attributed to the fact that 1022 - although considerably smaller than the entire set of states - is still a very large number.

Playful Physics
Thu 29.06.2017   Prof. Dr. Holger Stark  Institut für Theoretische Physik, Technische Universität Berlin  16:30 s.t.
Microswimmers: From design principles to their emergent collective behavior
WE Physik, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf


Seminar about Bachelor, Master and other Theses from the Institut for Theoretical Physics II


Link: Physics Colloquium
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