Simons Foundation

On Growth and Form: Geometry, Physics and Biology

Dec 2013

Of the diversity of living form, Charles Darwin said, “It is enough to drive the sanest man mad.” A century and a half later, how can we quantify, understand and predict this variety? How might we control it? Motivated by biological observations on scales ranging from molecular to histological, L. Mahadevan will explain how a combination of biological and physical experiments, together with mathematical models and computations, begin to unravel the physical basis for morphogenesis. He will go on to explore how these pan-disciplinary problems enrich the origins of this topic, creating new questions in mathematics, physics and biology.

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Controlled growth and form of precipitating microsculptures C. N. Kaplan, W. L. Noorduin, L. Li, R. Sadza, L. Folkertsma, J. Aizenberg, L. Mahadevan,  Science  355, 1395-99, 2017. [View PDF] [Download PDF]