Student Seminar

Information theory and nonequilibrium thermodynamics: Optimizing response strategies in biological networks

Fri, 19 Feb 2016
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Student Seminar
 
Steven Large
SFU Physics
 
Information theory and nonequilibrium thermodynamics: Optimizing response strategies in biological networks
 
Feb 19, 2016
 

Synopsis

In the study of biological systems, the framework of equilibrium statistical mechanics has limited applicability.  This follows from the fact that living systems often operate in states which are far from thermodynamic equilibrium.  Interestingly enough, ideas from the field of information theory have been finding an increasing level of applicability to nonequilibrium physics-archive.  For instance, the mutual information between a biological cell and its environment can provide a measure of the cell's ability to predict future environmental states.  I will show how this mutual information can be used to quantify the optimal strategies of response to future environmental fluctuations in biological networks.