Home Publications
Scientific popularization

Fête de la science 2019: A demain - Raconter la science, imaginer l'avenir

COMUE Lille Nord de France, CNRS Hauts de France, Université de Lille

Gare Saint Sauveur, Lille
- October 12 and 13, 2019

Stand Toutes les choses coulent?
Stefano Berti and Enrico Calzavarini

Greek philosophers said it as "panta rhei", that is "all things flow". The flow of a liquid through a bottleneck, the passage of grains (as, e.g., chickpeas) through a hole in a container, the exit of a crowd of people through the door of a room... these are different phenomena from different scientific domains. However, researchers are thinking about a common mathematical description to explain these flow phenomena, encountered in research fields as varied as physics, biology or the human sciences! The potential implications of the success of such an approach would be enormous: from the design of new materials, to the understanding and preservation of ecosystems, to the management of large masses of people in metropolitan environments.
The question is: up to what extent do all things flow? Or, in other words, which way?

More details in our poster [

PhD students  discussing with PhD students.  This year Dario Canossi (behind) and Vinicius Tergolina (in the front), both PhD students at our lab (Unité de Mécanique de Lille) joined us to help welcome visitors. Here Dario uses a hourglass to introduce the peculiarities of the flow of granular materials to two other PhD students of our lab, Wenwei Wu and Katia Ali Amar.
Dario, Vinicius and Enrico (from left to right) presenting our demonstrations on both granular materials and self-propelled robots mimicking biological organisms (bugs).  We thank  Cristóbal López (IFISC, Palma de Mallorca) for  interesting ideas about crowd dynamics and the use of robot bugs, and Elodie Legrand (I-SITE ULNE) and Florence Ienna (COMUE LNF) for buying the robots.

Vinicius illustrating the phenomenon of clogging of granular materials, using little kitchen spheres (typically used to prepare cakes), and chickpeas, passing through a hole in a rectangular container. The exhibit was realized by Guillaume Sageot and Pierre Vanhove, two last-year students in Mechanical engineering at Polytech'Lille, during their final-year project.

Our team at work on the stand. The exhibit illustrating the segregation and collective motion properties of robot bugs (centre and left in the image) was realized by Antoine Gontier and Valentin Legrand, two last-year students in Mechanical engineering at Polytech'Lille, during their final-year project.

Enrico describes our stand in an interview with Séverine Casalis, vice president for valorisation and innovation of Université de Lille.

Enrico welcomes visitors and answers their questions in front of our poster.

Myself presenting our stand in a radio interview with France Bleu Nord. (credits: Stéphanie Barbez, CNRS Hauts de France)

Interview with France Bleu Nord. (credits: CNRS Hauts de France)