Institute for Research in Fundamental Sciences
Online Workshop on

Physics and Geometry of Viruses
School of Nano Science, Institute for Research in Fundamental Sciences (IPM)
9 September 2021

Viruses have emerged as ultimate forms of self-assembled biological nanoobjects, transcending synthetic nanomaterials in the level of structural refinement, reconfigurability, adaptive biological functionality and rich physical phenomenology. As such, virus research has taken an increasingly multidisciplinary form, attracting a lot of attention also from theoretical and experimental physicists. In a wide class of spherical viruses, the protein cage encapsidating the genetic material inside the virus can take highly ordered polyhedral (primarily icosahedral) shapes, whose geometry can be classified using symmetry-based construction rules. While understanding the shape of viruses has required elaborate mathematical descriptions, understanding their physical properties has necessitated the use of equilibrium and nonequilibrium principles from condensed matter, soft matter and statistical physics. These are used to describe, for instance, the underlying physical forces (such as electrostatic interactions), elasticity and mechanical properties as well as thermodynamic and kinetic processes in the viral self-assembly.

The lectures in this workshop cover some of the basic concepts in the geometry and physics of viruses, as they cover other, more advanced, contemporary research topics in the field. The workshop is aimed at young researchers (including postdocs and advanced graduate students), and scientists with an interest in the subject from all disciplines are welcome to attend.

The workshop features a two-lecture crash course on “Motifs in structure, symmetry, and energetics of viruses”, providing a concise elementary exposure to the notions covered in other lectures.

The workshop is open to all, but registration through the following link is required.

Registration deadline: 5 September 2021

The workshop is held online, through a link that will be provided via email to registered participants.


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