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15 Jan 2019: Scutoid cells discovered in soap bubbles

Our work on scutoids was picked up by Physics World. You can read the article here:


12 July 2018: EuFoam 2018

Currently at Eufoam 2018 (in Liege) where I was talking about sunflowers (what else!)


27 May 2018: A visit by Ken Stephenson

Ken Stephenson (University of Knoxville TN) came to visit me for a week in Aberystwyth. Apart from the mountain biking:

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We also spent some time discussing circle packings and their applications to problems in physics:

5 Septemeber 2017: Two visits to Cambridge

This month I will be attending two workshops in Cambridge, the first is the 2nd Edwards Symposium - which concentrates on bringing scientists from the soft matter community together with people from industry. The second work shop is at the Newton institute and is titled Form and deformation in solid and fluid mechanics.

22 July 2017 The Packing of Continua

This summer I visited the programme entitled “The Packing of Continua” at Aspen, details below. Probabily one of the best meetings I have ever been to… plenty of time for discussions and not too heavy on talks - perfect!

June 11 - July 2 The Packing of Continua

Organizers:Gregory Grason - University of Massachusetts, Eleni Katifori, University of Pennsylvania, L. Mahadevan - Harvard University, Jennifer Schwarz - Syracuse University 

Packing problems have been at the core physical descriptions of matter dating back to at least the time of Kepler. This workshop will bring together researchers from diverse fields working to understand packing of filaments and sheets in three-dimensional space. In comparison to problems of packing compact and rigid elements, the consequences of the more subtle interplay between shape and separation of continuously deformable, extended objects on their space-filling arrangements and collective behaviors at high density are far less understood. And this, despite the diverse applications of filament and sheet packing problems to current challenges in biology and materials science, from the fractal packing of condensed chromosomes to the design of 2D metamaterials. The scope of the workshop will cover recent advances in characterizing, understanding and optimizing multi-filament/sheet assemblies, as well as frontier questions stemming from new observations and emerging challenges in biological and synthetic matter.

Here are some obligatory conference pictures:

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6 April 2017: Visit to Mohan Srinivasarao

Next week I will be visiting Georgia Tech in Atlanta USA, where I will be collaborating with Mohan Srinivasarao. I will also be giving a talk on packing hard (and soft) spheres in cylinders.

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23 Aug 2016: New preprint: Phyllotaxis, disk packing and Fibonacci numbers.

Phyllotaxis, disk packing and Fibonacci numbers

A Mughal and D Weaire

We consider the evolution of the packing of disks (representing the position of buds) that are introduced at the top of a surface which has the form of a growing stem. They migrate downwards, while conforming to three principles, applied locally: dense packing, homogeneity and continuity. We show that spiral structures characterised by the widely observed Fibonacci sequence (1,1,2,3,5,8,13...), as well as related structures, occur naturally under such rules. Typical results are presented in a animation.

See for full details

7 Jul 2016: EuFoam 2106

At the recent EuFoam conference I gave a talk entitled "Curvature driven motion of soap cells in toroidal Hele-Shaw cells”. In the talk I presented work that will be published in an upcoming paper.

1 Apr 2016: Vladimir Khodygo

Jointly with Martin Swain in IBERS we have a new PhD student working with us on problems relating to active matter and bacterial swarms

3 Jul 2015: Bacteria, liquid crystals and active matter

Yesterday I gave a presentation to the group of Chris Creevey at IBERS:

Title: Bacteria, liquid crystals and active matterShort Abstract: Swarms of bacteria represent examples of what is know as active matter. Active matter describes a system whose constituent elements consume energy to move. When these objects interact with each other, collective behavior can emerge that is unlike anything possible in ordinary matter. In this talk I will give an idiosyncratic overview of bacteria from a physicists point of view that should be accessible to anyone. 

© Adil Mughal 2012