Tim Atherton, Tufts University

A Science + Society Double Header!

On Thursday, 4/28 at 4pm in TPL 203:

“Towards an inclusive environment for LGBT+ Scientists”

In this talk, I’ll present the results of a recently published study – the first ever to focus on physics – highlighting how subgroups of the LGBT+ community experience different forms of marginalization, and with a focus on the overlapping effects of multiple marginalized identities. I’ll discuss some available resources and recommendations for addressing these issues, and also present some of the work I’ve been doing to create a very different kind of physics classroom that cultivates scientific inquiry enabling students to leverage their identities as resources for disciplinary activity.


On Friday, 4/29 at 2:35pm in TPL 205:

“Shape Sculpting and Shapeshifting with Soft Matter”

Soft materials are ideal candidates for advanced engineering applications including soft, biomimetic robots, self-building machines, shape-shifters, artificial muscles, and chemical delivery packages. In many of these, the material must make a dramatic change in shape with an accompanying re-ordering of the material; in others changes in the ordering can be used to drive or even interrupt shape change. To optimize the materials and structures, it is necessary to have a detailed understanding of how the microstructure and macroscopic shape co-evolve. In this talk, I will therefore discuss the interactions between order and shape evolution, as well as the role of the kinetics in determining the final state, with examples primarily drawn from my group’s work on emulsions and liquid crystals. To develop the description, we draw upon differential geometry, topology, optimization theory andcomputer simulations, and connect our results to other work on jamming and crystallography on curved surfaces.