Volume 85, Number 1, January 2009
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Section||Interdisciplinary Physics and Related Areas of Science and Technology|
|Published online||13 January 2009|
Spontaneous flow states in active nematics: A unified picture
The Rudolf Peierls Centre for Theoretical Physics - 1 Keble Road, Oxford, OX1 3NP, UK, EU
Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 1 December 2008
Continuum hydrodynamic models of active liquid crystals have been used to describe dynamic self-organising systems such as bacterial swarms and cytoskeletal gels. A key prediction of such models is the existence of self-stabilising kink states that spontaneously generate fluid flow in quasi-one dimensional channels (Voituriez R. et al Europhys. Lett., 70 (2005) 404). Using simple stability arguments and numerical calculations we extend previous studies to give a complete characterisation of the phase space for both contractile and extensile particles (i.e. pullers and pushers) moving in a narrow channel as a function of their flow alignment properties and initial orientation. This gives a framework for unifying many of the results in the literature. We describe the response of the kink states to an imposed shear, and investigate how allowing the system to be polar modifies its dynamical behaviour.
PACS: 87.10.-e – Biological and medical physics: General theory and mathematical aspects / 83.80.Xz – Liquid crystals: nematic, cholesteric, smectic, discotic, etc. / 47.60.-i – Flow phenomena in quasi-one-dimensional systems
© EPLA, 2009
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