On Friday, March 4th starting at 3:10pm in RSS 102, Keith Promislow of Michigan State University will give a fascinating talk about deep connections between mathematics and polymer physics in a talk about Amphiphilic Polymer Membranes.
Title: Network Formation in Amphiphilic Polymer Membranes
Abstract: Polymer chains are typically hydrophobic, the addition of functional groups to the backbone adds regions of hydrophilicity. The amphiphilic material (both hydrophobic and hydrophilic) has a strong affinity for solvent, imbibing it to self assemble charge-lined networks which serve as charge-selective ion conductors in a host of energy conversion applications. We present a continuum model for the free energy of an amphiphilic mixture. The associated gradient flows admit dynamic competition between network morphologies of distinct co-dimension. We present the competitive geometric evolution for co-dimension 1 bilayers and co-dimension two pore morphologies, present an analysis of the associated spectral problems, and describe rigorous existence results.
The talk will be aimed at a general scientific audience and everyone is welcome to join Dr. Promislow and the faculty of the Department of Mathematics for tea prior to the talk at 2:45pm in RSS 346.