3rd November at 14:15: Matilda Backholm

The next colloquium in the fall series will take place on Friday (November 3) at 14:15. Our speaker will be Matilda Backholm, who is an associate professor in Soft Matter Physics at the Department of Applied Physics, Aalto University, Finland.

Matilda Backholm is an assistant professor in Soft Matter Physics at the Department of Applied Physics, Aalto University, Finland. Her Living Matter research team studies the mechanics, dynamics, and flow of soft, living, and fluid systems. Prof. Backholm received a BSc in Physics from the University of Helsinki (2009), a MSc in Nanoscience from Aarhus University (Denmark, 2011), and a PhD in Physics from McMaster University (Canada, 2015). Matilda then worked as an Academy of Finland postdoctoral researcher in the Soft Matter and Wetting group of Prof. Ras at Aalto University. She was recently awarded an ERC StG, a Research Council of Finland Research Fellowship, as well as grants from the Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation and the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters.

The title of her talk is: How to swim at the mesoscale.

The event will be held on Friday 03.11.23 at 14:15, in Exactum CK112.

Abstract of the talk:

Swimming is ubiquitous in nature and crucial for the survival of many organisms. The physics behind how to swim has been extensively studied at the viscosity-dominated microscale and inertia-dominated macroscale. Between these extreme regimes lies a mesoscale that is full of interesting living organisms, such as small larvae, shrimps, and jellyfish. However, little is known about how these meso-organisms swim. Here, both viscous and inertial forces are important, rendering complicated non-linear and time-dependent effects on the meso-swimming dynamics. In this talk, I will give a background to this field and present our work on developing new experimental tools to directly measure the tiny swimming forces of mesoscale organisms. Our goal is to resolve major open questions at the mesoscale through new experimental approaches.