Instabilities and topological defects in active nematics
The Rudolf Peierls Centre for Theoretical Physics - 1 Keble Road, Oxford, OX1 3NP, UK
Received: 17 December 2013
Accepted: 7 January 2014
We study a continuum model of an extensile active nematic to show that mesoscale turbulence develops in two stages: i) ordered regions undergo an intrinsic hydrodynamic instability generating walls, lines of strong bend deformations; ii) the walls relax by forming oppositely charged pairs of defects. Both creation and annihilation of defect pairs reinstate nematic regions which undergo further instabilities, leading to a dynamic steady state. We compare this with the development of active turbulence in a contractile active nematic.
PACS: 87.10.-e – General theory and mathematical aspects / 83.60.Wc – Flow instabilities
© EPLA, 2013