The motility of cells and microorganisms is a cornerstone of the existence of life and an outstanding achievement of evolution. From a physics perspective, active matter is a novel class of nonequilibrium materials composed of a large number of agents, which consume energy and generate directed motion. Length and time scales range from nanomotors and microswimmers and single cells up to fish, birds and humans. Unraveling, predicting, and controlling the behavior of active matter is a truly interdisciplinary endeavor, and involves scientists from biology, chemistry, ecology, engineering, mathematics, and physics. Recent progress in experimental and simulation methods, and theoretical advances, now allows for a detailed study of such systems, and to gain new insight into their behavior. This should ultimately lead to the design of novel synthetic active agents.
Interest in this fascinating multidisciplinary field is increasing, and progress in understanding and designing microswimmers is rapidly advancing. The international conference “Motile Active Matter”, organized by the DFG Priority Programme 1726 “Microswimmers”, brings together scientists from the various disciplines involved in research on active matter, disseminating recent progresses and highlighting future challenges. Topics include: cells & microorganisms, artificial and biological microswimmers, collective behavior, sensing and navigation, confinement and external fields, statistical mechanics of active matter