Suraj ShankarGraduate Student Physics
Faculty Advisor: Mark Bowick
I am broadly interested in soft condensed matter systems at the level of continuum descriptions usually involving broken symmetries, elasticity and field theories (both in and out of equilibrium). Two of my primary research directions as of now are active nematics (with Cristina Marchetti) and the mechanics of thin sheets, such as graphene (with Mark Bowick and Michael Moshe). Of particular interest is understanding the importance and relevance of topological defects and the density field in two dimensional active nematic systems, in the presence of non-linearities and fluctuations. On the other hand, with regard to graphene, we are trying to understand the effect of holes and slits (Kirigami) on both zero temperature mechanics and finite temperature statistical mechanics of buckling and crumpling in thin elastic sheets.
Recent publication: Probing the shear viscosity of an active nematic
Recent invited talk: Controlling Defect Dynamics in a 2d Active Nematic, TIFR – TCIS Hyderabad, India, Aug 9, 2016
Recent Poster: Confined Nematic Defects As Active Particles [PDF]