Active systems

Molecular machines are responsible for a variety of non-equilibrium actions. They can make cells themselves move about, and perhaps exhibit fascinating collective motion, and the are responsible, amongst other things, for the transportation of cargo, or play a role in the tightening of the contractile ring during cells division. A range of molecular motors move… Read More »

Collaborator: Ben Loos

Dr Ben Loos (Dept of Physiological Sciences at Stellenbosch University) has a long-standing interest in the molecular mechanisms that control cell death susceptibility. His research centres around protein degradative mechanisms and their dynamics, transport and function of mitochondria along tubulin networks and their role in neuronal degeneration and migration.  His research group utilizes in vitro… Read More »


The organisation and dynamics of intracellular structures that maintain a cell’s form, shape, function and viability are rather complex. An emerging central theme which addresses this complexity deals with ATP-driven intracellular transport mechanisms along the tubulin network or the ability of mitochondria to rapidly undergo fission and fusion, and thereby creating a network that is adapted to… Read More »

Kristian Müller-Nedebock

Kristian Müller-Nedebock is a physicist, employed as Professor in the Department of Physics at Stellenbosch University.  His route to the current position in Stellenbosch included a PhD at the Cavendish Laboratory from the University of Cambridge and several years as a post-doctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz. Ph.D. (Cambridge),… Read More »

Alumnus: Mohau Mateyisi

Jacob Mohau Mateyisi graduated with a PhD in December 2014.  The work in his dissertation covered the diffusion of particles in narrow, laterally coupled channels.  Previously he worked on active networks, using a reversible formalism and the replica method to compute the network elasticity. Mohau has worked at the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences in Muizenberg,… Read More »

Graduations 2014

2014 saw graduations of two PhD students Christian M Rohwer, with a study on entanglements in polymers J Mohau Mateyisi, with a study on diffusion in coupled single-file pores and an MSc student Sthembiso R Gumede, with a study of polymer translocation There is also an article on December 2014 PhDs in the Physics Department at Stellenbosch… Read More »

Dealing with entanglements

Our recent paper (See post here; CM Rohwer, KK Müller-Nedebock “Operator Formalism for Topology-Conserving Crossing Dynamics in Planar Knot Diagrams”, Journal of Statistical Physics 159, 120-157 (2015), introduces a dynamical perspective to the venerable polymer physics problem of conserving the state of entanglement in polymer loops. To understand what this means we show the example of a single… Read More »