The group’s research focuses on understanding how biological systems operate using approaches from theoretical physics.  We use statistical physics to understand the structure and function of biological membranes, which experiments have shown operate close to a demixing critical point in the Ising universality class.  We also use tools from information theory to place physical bounds on the ability of organisms to function that arise from their limited ability to measure their environment and from their limited energy budget.

Selected Publications

E. coli Chemotaxis is Information Limited.  Henry H. Mattingly, Keita Kamino, Benjamin B. Machta, Thierry Emonet (2021), Accepted to Nature Physics.

Surface Densities Prewet a near Critical Membrane.  Mason Rouches, Sarah L. Veatch, Benjamin B. Machta (2021), Accepted to Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Irriversibility in dynamical phases and transitions. Daniel S. Seara, Benjamin B. Machta, Michael S. Murrell.  Nature Communications.  12 392 (2021) pdf

Energy Dissipation Bounds in Autonomous Thermodynamic Systems. Samuel J. Bryant, Benjamin B. Machta.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  117 (7), 3478-3483 (2020), pdf

Maximizing the Information learned from finite data selects a simple model.  Henry H. Mattingly, Mark K. Transtrum, Michael C. Abbott, Benjamin B. Machta. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 115 (8) 1760 (2018), pdf