3 July 2023 to 20 December 2023
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Understanding biological physics in detail requires one to not only explore the complex, multiscale structures of biological materials but also to understand their emergent properties that arise out of their being in a nonequilibrium steady state. The cytoskeleton, for example, is a complex assemblage of filaments, their bundles, and various proteins which interact with them. But the mechanics and biological utility of this structure are not determined merely by their structural elements, but by their nonequilibrium state, characterized by endogenous motor activity and the polymerization and depolymerization of the constituent filaments. Consequently, recent developments in the areas of nonequilibrium statistical mechanics and thermodynamics are of critical importance to the physical foundations of living matter, but these ideas remain incomplete and, in most cases, have not penetrated into the biological physics and biology communities.
The proposed programme aims to bring together researchers in mathematics and statistical physics specializing in the fundamental properties of fluctuations and response in nonequilibrium states with researchers in biological physics. We expect the work to enable new collaborations and cross-fertilization of ideas. In short, we expect that understanding the living world will provide challenges that will stimulate new fundamental thinking in statistical physics while current research in this field will help to structure our ever-expanding knowledge of living matter as a nonequilibrium dynamical system. One example of how the living world can introduce new ideas into statistical physics is found in the studies of a large class of nonequilibrium steady-states that are under some form of homeostatic control. In these systems, the energy input maintaining the nonequilibrium state itself depends on the current (or recent) state of the system. While there has been great progress in understanding the statistical physics of driven systems, this new feature of feedback-based control, which is endemic to biology, has received comparatively little attention.
We believe that the time is ripe for a programme to bring together biologists and biophysicists at the cutting edge of these investigations with physicists and mathematicians studying nonequilibrium statistical physics. The potential for collaborative breakthrough is strong: not only are more abstract mathematical ideas from statistical physics necessary to interpret these data, but also these experiments will point out new areas for theoretical research in a variety of tightly regulated nonequilibrium systems.
3 July 2023 to 7 July 2023
4 September 2023 to 8 September 2023
9 October 2023 to 13 October 2023
13 November 2023 to 17 November 2023
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Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences, 20 Clarkson Road, Cambridge CB3 0EH United Kingdom
Tel: +44 1223 335999 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
INI is a creative collaborative space which is occupied by up to fifty-five mathematical scientists at any one time (and many more when there is a workshop). Some of them may not have met before and others may not realise the relevance of other research to their own work.
INI is especially important as a forum where early-career researchers meet senior colleagues and form networks that last a lifetime.
Here you can learn about all activities past, present and future, watch live seminars and submit your own proposals for research programmes.
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The Isaac Newton Institute aims to maximise the benefit of its scientific programmes to the UK mathematical science community in a variety of ways.
Whether spreading research opportunities through its network of correspondents, offering summer schools to early career researchers, or hosting public-facing lectures through events such as the Cambridge Festival, there is always a great deal of activity to catch up on.
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“A world famous place for research in the mathematical sciences with a reputation for efficient management and a warm welcome for visitors”
The Isaac Newton Institute is a national and international visitor research institute. It runs research programmes on selected themes in mathematics and the mathematical sciences with applications over a wide range of science and technology. It attracts leading mathematical scientists from the UK and overseas to interact in research over an extended period.
INI has a vital national role, building on many strengths that already exist in UK universities, aiming to generate a new vitality through stimulating and nurturing research throughout the country.During each scientific programme new collaborations are made and ideas and expertise are exchanged and catalysed through lectures, seminars and informal interaction, which the INI building has been designed specifically to encourage.
For INI’s knowledge exchange arm, please see the Newton Gateway to Mathematics.
The Institute depends upon donations, as well as research grants, to support the world class research undertaken by participants in its programmes.
Fundraising activities are supported by a Development Board comprising leading figures in academia, industry and commerce.
Visit this section to learn more about how you could play a part in supporting INI’s groundbreaking research.
In this section you can find contact information, staff lists, maps and details of how to find INI’s main building in Cambridge.
Our administrative staff can help you with any queries regarding a prospective or planned visit. If you would like to discuss a proposed a research programme or other event, our senior management team will be happy to help.