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Herman Z. Cummins Lecture

  • Date
    Thu, Apr 10

    4:00 PM — 5:00 PM


    Marshak Science
    City College of New York, 160 Convent Ave.
    New York, NY  10031

    Marshak Science, 418N

    p: 212.650.6832


  • Event Details

    "From bacteria to artificial cells.
    The problem of self reproduction"
    Albert Libchaber

    "From bacteria to artificial cells.
    The problem of self reproduction"

    1) Can we synthesize the most elementary cell size compartment that can self reproduce using genetic information. This would follow Von Neumann logic for self reproduction.

    2) Failed self reproducion of E.coli bacterium by applying a high hydrostatic pressure and study of its recovery.

    Albert Libchaber made major contributions in experimental condensed matter physics. ...In particular, he carried out the first experimental observation of the bifurcation cascade that leads to chaos and turbulence in convective Rayleigh–Bénard systems. Using microbolometers engraved in the convective cell he was able to observe temperature fluctuations without perturbing the environment. In this way, he clearly observed the bifurcations that lead to chaos: period doubling, possibly accompanied by locking of several incommensurate frequencies. The theoretical predictions of Mitchell Feigenbaum were thus entirely confirmed. His first work was done on 4He; later he used mercury, in which an applied magnetic field provides an additional degree of freedom. The experiment is so perfect that it can measure quantitatively the Feigenbaum critical exponents that characterize the cascade to chaos. For this achievement, he was awarded the Wolf Prize in Physics in 1986, along with Mitchell J. Feigenbaum, "for his brilliant experimental demonstration of the transition to turbulence and chaos in dynamical systems".

    Since the 1990s, Albert Libchaber's research has been primarily in biology, from the viewpoints of physics and nonlinear dynamics.