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Nature Inspired Physics: Why Do We Flock Together?

More 'Nature Inspired Physics: Why Do We Flock Together?'

Leopoldina-INSA Lecture by Professor Dr Ajay Kumar Sood; in cooperation with the Indian Embassy Berlin

Date: Tuesday, 18 September 2018
Time: 16:00 to 20:30
Location: Lecture Hall of the Indian Embassy, Tiergartenstraße 17, 10785 Berlin

Flocks of birds flying every morning and evening or of ants crawling in one direction are a common sight. Flocking, a self-organized motion of vast numbers of individuals of same species in a common direction is a common behavior in many animals like ants, locusts, birds, fishes etc. This talk will bring out how nature inspires us to explore such fascinating phenomena in laboratory. As physicists, Prof Dr Ajay Kumar Sood and his team have tried to understand flocking behavior by working with inanimate asymmetric brass rods made active by placing them on rapidly vibrating surface amongst spherical beads. They have discovered that a small number of active particles can coherently transport a large passive cargo, which they believe is potentially relevant in biological systems. Professor Dr Ajay Kumar Sood will present his recent studies on how to separate active particles with same size but with different activities. His experiments will bring out novel emerging issues in systems out of equilibrium. He will discuss how the experiments may be able to shed light, for example on the unfortunate phenomena of stampede, which has been earlier ascribed as a fluid dynamics problem.

Professor Dr Ajay Kumar Sood is President of the Indian National Science Academy (INSA) and Professor for Physics at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India. Leopoldina and INSA have cooperated closely over many years, e.g. by jointly organizing scientific conferences in India and Germany. Prof Sood’s talk is part of the Leopoldina-INSA lecture series, in which high-ranking members of both academies present their work to the general public in order to promote the visibility of Indian and German science.

The 2018 lecture is organized in cooperation with the Indian Embassy in Berlin in their ongoing effort to promote Indo-German science and research collaboration.


16:00 – 17:00    Meet & Greet (Registration & Refreshments)
17:00 – 17:05    Welcome (H.E. Ms Mukta Dutta Tomar, Ambassador of India to the Federal Republic of Germany)
17:05 – 17:15    Opening Address (Professor Dr Jörg Hacker, Leopoldina President)
17:15 – 18:15    Lecture & Discussion (Prof Dr Ajay Kumar Sood, INSA President)
18:15 – 18:30    Words of Thanks
18:30 – 20:30    Reception

Picture: freshidea - stock.adobe.com

Further Information and Registration

The lecture will be held in English. Participation is open to the public and is free of charge. Prior registration is required until 13 September 2018.


By registering for the lecture, participants agree that their personal data will be used for the organization of the event only. Photos will be taken during the event. Participants agree that this material can be used for internal and external communication in the interest of the Leopoldina and its cooperation partners INSA and the Indian Embassy.


Dr. Ruth Narmann
Deputy Head of International Relations Department
Tel.: 030 / 203 8997 - 432
Email: ruth.narmann@leopoldina.org