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Science and Mathematics

Soft Matter Seminar: Dmitrii E. Makarov

February 16, 2024 at 11:00am12:00pm EST

Physics Building, PB 202

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The Syracuse University Soft Matter group is pleased to present Dmitrii E. Makarov, professor in the Department of Chemistry and Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences at the University of Texas, Austin.

“Time arrow in the dynamics of molecular machines from single-molecule measurements”


Life phenomena are irreversible: nobody gets younger. Yet when observed at a microscopic scale, such irreversibility is often subtle and hard to detect. If we observe the trajectory of a tracer particle inside a cell, can we tell whether the cell is alive or whether the particle simply undergoes random Brownian motion? In this talk, I will first describe some of the challenges that one faces when attempting to discern the directionality of molecular machines when observing them at a single-molecule level. I will then discuss how ideas from information theory can be applied to analyze single-molecule trajectories in a manner similar to Shannon’s analysis of the printed English. Finally, I will discuss how the heat generation/entropy production by molecular machines can be estimated, in practice, by computing an information-theoretical measure of time reversibility, the Kullback-Leibler divergence between the distributions of forward trajectories and of their time reverses.

This event was published on February 1, 2024.

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