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Colloquium: Murugappan Muthukumar (University of Massachusetts)

February 24, 2020 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Shriram 104

Murugappan Muthukumar
Wilmer D. Barrett Professor
Polymer Science and Engineering Department
University of Massachusetts


Abstract: Topological Effects on Movements of Charged Macromolecules in Crowds

Charged macromolecules dispersed in aqueous media are ubiquitous since life began on Earth and continue to catalyze formulations of modern materials. A fundamental understanding of the rich phenomenology on movements of charged macromolecules in crowded environments continues to be elusive, due to the long-ranged nature of both the topological correlation from chain connectivity and electrostatic correlation from the charges in the system.  Strong coupling among these long-ranged interactions results in a variety of rich behavior unparalleled in uncharged systems. We will present recent advances on the collective dynamics of charged macromolecules in solutions and hydrogels. In particular, the “ordinary-extraordinary” dynamics, single molecule translocation through a protein channel under coupled forces, and the newly discovered topologically frustrated non-diffusive dynamics of charged macromolecules inside charged hydrogels will be discussed.


Biography of Murugappan Muthukumar

Murugappan Muthukumar received his Ph.D. in Chemical Physics at the University of Chicago. After his postdoctoral fellowship in the Cavendish Laboratory at the Cambridge University, he joined the faculty of Illinois Institute of Technology for a couple of years, and then moved to the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he is currently the Wilmer D. Barrett Distinguished Professor of Polymer Science and Engineering. His current research topics of interest include polymer crystallization, polyelectrolyte physics, and polymer translocation. Muthukumar is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, and has received the Dillon Medal and the Polymer Physics Prize of the American Physical Society, ACS Polymer Chemistry Award, Chancellor’s Medal of the University of Massachusetts, and the Gutenberg Lecture Award from the University of Mainz. He is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Chemical Physics, having served as an Adjunct Editor for the Physical Review Letters for almost a decade.