The Experimental Statistical Physics Lab
In Takeuchi Lab, we aim to explore statistical physics of out-of-equilibrium phenomena experimentally. Using soft and living matter, such as liquid crystal, colloids, and granular materials, as well as bacteria, we carry out experiments that we design to capture underlying physical principles, in addition to the understanding of specific phenomena we observe. By studing diverse subjects that often enjoy interesting connections in between, we aim to establish an experimental branch of statistical physics.
We welcome students and postdocs who wish to join us in this journey! If you are interested, contact Takeuchi (email) for an opportunity of a lab visit and/or online introduction to the lab (our "join us" page may also be helpful).
Learn more !
Among matter and phenomena we see, physical principles underlying those at thermal equilibrium or close to it are deeply understood, thanks to the celebrated thermodynamics and statistical physics. However, when we turn our eyes to natural phenomena around us, we realize that many of them are actually out of equilibrium. To give examples, water and air produce large-scale convection over the globe. Our sky and landscape are showing beautiful patterns to us. How about life? In our body, diverse biomolecules cooperate to realize a variety of cell functions, cells interplay to maintain cell tissues, and combination of those constitutes a living organism. Further, individuals form communities, and network of various species and environments constitute ecosystems. All such observations are intriguing examples in nature, where a collection of numerous interacting elements makes nontrivial features emerge at macroscopic scales. Despite the ubiquity of such fascinating examples, attempts to build frameworks of thermodynamics and statistical physics for non-equilibrium phenomena are presumably still in their infancy, remaining to be one of the most important open problems in modern sciences.
Recent advances in non-equilibrium statistical physics have accelerated interdisciplinary trends, leading to reciprocal developments across different fields. "Fluctuation theorems" and more recent "thermodynamic uncertainty relations" have not only deepened our fundamental understanding of non-equilibrium fluctuations considerably, but become useful tools to study problems in real systems, such as efficiency and precision of molecular motors. Active matter physics, which deals with collections of self-propelled particles, has established its foundation on statistical physics and liquid crystal theory, and shown the existence of universal physics over various systems, ranging from biomolecules to cells, cell tissues, and microbial populations. Physics of universal scaling laws, describing non-equilibrium critical phenomena and related problems, is now evidenced by experiments on liquid crystal, fluids, etc. Further, mathematical physics has shown remarkable developments on exact solutions to one-dimensional non-equilibrium interfaces, which are also tested quantitatively by liquid crystal experiments.
In Takeuchi Lab, we aim to explore statistical physics of non-equilibrium phenomena experimentally. Using soft and living matter, such as liquid crystal, colloids, and granular materials, as well as bacteria, we carry out experiments that we design to capture underlying physical principles, in addition to the understanding of specific phenomena we observe. As a result, we deal with diverse subjects in the group: currently we are working on non-equilibrium critical phenomena, bridging micro and macro scales in non-equilibrium phenomena, active matter, physics of microbial populations, collective phenomena in large dynamical systems, etc. (see here) and we often enjoy interesting connections in between. We are also positive in starting new projects. Through such efforts, we aim to make unique contributions under the banner of the experimental statistical physics.
Please see the research page for more details.
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About our logo
The inner part of the logo represents the Schlieren pattern of topological defects of liquid crystal (real image), whereas the outer edge shows KPZ-class interface fluctuations, which we discovered in the topological-defect turbulence of liquid crystal (learn more). By depicting smooth Schlieren patterns of individual defects and a fluctuating KPZ interface made of a collection of defects in the single figure, the logo represents our scientific interests in linking microscopic and macroscopic phenomena, as well as deterministic and stochastic problems. Moreover, the intertwined red and blue curves are symbols of our approach incorporating both experimental and theoretical studies.