Stochastic Self Assembly of Incommensurate Clusters
|What||Lectures and Seminars at the WPI|
from 11:00 to 12:00
|Where||WPI seminar room C 714|
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Maria Rita D'Orsogna (CSUN)
Abstract. The binding of individual components to form aggregate structures is a ubiquitous phenomenon in physics, chemistry and material science. Nucleation events may be heterogeneous, where particles are attracted to an initial exogenous site or homogeneous where identical particles spontaneously cluster upon contact. Particle nucleation and cluster growth have been extensively studied in the past decades, often assuming infinitely large numbers of building blocks and unbounded cluster sizes. These assumptions led to the use of mass-action, mean field descriptions such as the well known Becker Doering equations. In cellular biology, however, nucleation events often take place in confined spaces, with a finite number of components, so that discrete and stochastic effects must be taken into account. In this talk we examine finite sized homogeneous nucleation by considering a fully stochastic master equation, solved via Monte-Carlo simulations and via analytical insight. We find striking differences between the mean cluster sizes obtained from our discrete, stochastic treatment and those predicted by mean field treatments. We also consider heterogeneous nucleation stochastic treatments, first passage time results and possible applications to prion unfolding and clustering dynamics.