Intrinsic free energy in active nematics
The Rudolf Peierls Centre for Theoretical Physics - 1 Keble Road, Oxford, OX1 3NP, UK
Received: 20 September 2015
Accepted: 23 October 2015
Basing our arguments on the theory of active liquid crystals, we demonstrate, both analytically and numerically, that the activity can induce an effective free energy which enhances ordering in extensile systems of active rods and in contractile suspensions of active discs. We argue that this occurs because any ordering fluctuation is enhanced by the flow field it produces. A phase diagram in the temperature-activity plane compares ordering due to a thermodynamic free energy to that resulting from the activity. We also demonstrate that activity can drive variations in concentration, but for a different physical reason that relies on the separation of hydrodynamic and diffusive time scales.
PACS: 87.10.-e – General theory and mathematical aspects / 83.60.Wc – Flow instabilities
© EPLA, 2015