Learn More
Packing problems, such as how densely objects can fill a volume, are among the most ancient and persistent problems in mathematics and science. For equal spheres, it has only recently been proved that the face-centered cubic lattice has the highest possible packing fraction phi=pi/18 approximately 0.74. It is also well known that certain random (amorphous)(More)
The bacterium Listeria monocytogenes uses the energy of the actin polymerization to propel itself through infected tissues. In steady state, it continuously adds new polymerized filaments to its surface, pushing on its tail, which is made from previously cross-linked actin filaments. In this paper we introduce an elastic model to describe how the addition(More)
We report biophysical experiments performed on the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes, a model system to study actin-based motility. Using optical tweezers and electrophoresis experiments, we find that the bacterium is firmly attached to its tail, and we demonstrate that the tail responds as an elastic gel when deformed. We have measured its elastic modulus(More)
the conditional probability of finding a particle at position x after time t with the particle located for t ϭ 0 at x ϭ 0. In Fig. 3A, we show the result of p(x, t) for ⌫ ϭ 4 at four different times, which are all greater than t c. Self-diffusion of particles causes p(x, t) to broaden with time. Despite the simplicity of the physical situation describing SF(More)
In this Letter, we report on the densest-known packings of congruent ellipsoids. The family of new packings consists of crystal arrangements of spheroids with a wide range of aspect ratios, and with density phi always surpassing that of the densest Bravais lattice packing phi approximately equal to 0.7405. A remarkable maximum density of phi approximately(More)
Oil-water mixtures are ubiquitous in nature and are particularly important in biology and industry. Usually additives are used to prevent the liquid droplets from coalescing. Here, we show that stabilization can also be obtained from electrostatics, because of the well known remarkable properties of water. Preferential ion uptake leads to a tunable droplet(More)
Quasicrystalline structures may have optical bandgap properties-frequency ranges in which the propagation of light is forbidden-that make them well-suited to the scientific and technological applications for which photonic crystals are normally considered. Such quasicrystals can be constructed from two or more types of dielectric material arranged in a(More)
Tetrahedra may be the ultimate frustrating, disordered glass forming units. Our experiments on tetrahedral dice indicate the densest (volume fraction phi=0.76+/-.02, compared with phi(sphere)=0.64), most disordered, experimental, random packing of any set of congruent convex objects to date. Analysis of MRI scans yield translational and orientational(More)
Nonspherical particles can uniquely probe soft system dynamics. We show that laser tweezers stably trap thin coinlike microdisks in 3D with an edge-on orientation. Scattered light forms a streak that we track using a fast camera to measure the disk's angular displacement. Linearly polarized tweezers rotationally trap a birefringent disk, and we measure its(More)
Colloidal disks can be stably trapped using optical tweezers. However, when the tweezers press the disk against an opposing wall, we observe an instability leading to periodic motion which we model using coupled nonlinear equations. The resulting "switchback" oscillation involves combined orientational and translational motion of the disk. This observation(More)