Physics & QBio Hagoromo Hour: David Sivak, Simon Fraser University, “Energy and information flows in biomolecular machines”

Event time: 
Wednesday, November 1, 2023 - 10:00am to 11:00am
Bass Center for Molecular and Structural Biology See map
266 Whitney Avenue
New Haven, CT 06511
David Sivak, Simon Fraser University
Event description: 

Molecular machines carry out free-energy conversion throughout all living things. Despite functional similarities to human-engineered macroscopic machines, nanoscale machines inhabit a quite distinctive physical regime, with very strong fluctuations and conversely very strong frictional damping. I will discuss my group’s efforts to use statistical physics to understand the design principles governing effective function of biomolecular machines: we derive fundamental bounds on the performance (efficiency, power, and precision) of collections of molecular machines, apply these bounds to identify the natural efficiency of different machine components, and show that a wide class of heat engines must have significant information flow to be functional. These results illuminate the fundamentals of energy and information transduction at the nanoscale.
Hosts: Michael Abbott, Isabella Graf, and Mason Rouches