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Dr. Aditi Chakrabarti, postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University, will give a talk on "Singularities in the Morphogenesis of an Apple Cusp" at the next Physics Colloquium. Please join the presentation on Thursday, September 23th at 4:00pm in Fisher Hall 139.
Singularities in the Morphogenesis of an Apple Cusp
Abstract: Singularities are ubiquitous in diverse physical systems and lead to universal structures, from black holes in gravity to caustics in optics, from wave breaking at interfaces to cusps in viscous fluids. This universality suggests they should also naturally arise in biological systems, where active growth and self-motion focus deformations in space-time. A familiar example of a morphogenetic singularity is seen in the humble apple, which forms in the neighborhood of its stalk as the apple grows. We have studied the geometry and morphogenesis of this singular apple cusp by combining observations of apple growth with a simple theory, finite element simulations and controlled swelling experiments using a physical gel simulacrum. I will discuss our results and show that axisymmetric cusps can also lose stability and become lobed, which are also seen naturally in drupes.
Bio: Dr. Aditi Chakrabarti is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the group of Professor L. Mahadevan in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University, where she works at the interface of physics and mechanics of soft materials and its implications in both engineering and biological systems. Prior to this, Aditi received her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Lehigh University in 2017, working on problems related to large deformation and elastocapillarity of soft elastic solids, in the group of Professor Manoj K. Chaudhury.
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