These days I’m working quite a lot on Force fields. The first thing that comes to mind is of course Star Wars…but I’m not working on that… at least not yet!
So what then are force fields? Well, they are the way we introduce the laws of physics to model the behavior of objects or particles. For example, in the movie of the lord of the rings, when they had those huge fighting scenes, they didn’t have to tell each orc where to move… they applied some physical rules and let the battle begin! They are also behind most of the realistic feel in computer games (hair or cape moving with wind, …)
In my case I’m working on protein and DNA force fields. That is, improving the physics that describe how proteins and nucleic acids interact. By improving the physics we can effectively make better computer simulations of proteins that gives us more insight to design and understand how proteins work.