Speaker: David Sivak, Simon Fraser University
Time: November 17, 2014, 12:00 - 13:00
Molecular machines are protein complexes that convert between different forms of energy, and they feature prominently in essentially any major cell biological process. A plausible hypothesis holds that evolution has sculpted these machines to efficiently transmit energy and information in their natural contexts, where energetic fluctuations are large and nonequilibrium driving forces are strong. Toward a systematic picture of efficient, stochastic, nonequilibrium energy and information transmission, I present two related developments addressing fundamental questions in nonequilibrium statistical mechanics: How do we find efficient methods to push a noisy system rapidly from one state to another? And what are generic properties of systems that efficiently harness the energy and information present in environmental fluctuations? I will also discuss ongoing work extending such theory to more complex biological systems. For further details see the website.