117 research outputs found

    Flowing active liquids in a pipe: Hysteretic response of polar flocks to external fields

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    We investigate the response of colloidal flocks to external fields. We first show that individual colloidal rollers align with external flows as would a classical spin with magnetic fields. Assembling polar active liquids from colloidal rollers, we experimentally demonstrate their hysteretic response: confined colloidal flocks can proceed against external flows. We theoretically explain this collective robustness, using an active hydrodynamic description, and show how orientational elasticity and confinement protect the direction of collective motion. Finally, we exploit the intrinsic bistability of confined active flows to devise self-sustained microfluidic oscillators.Comment: 12 pages, 7 figure; accepted for publication in Physical Review

    Elastic interaction between "hard'' or "soft" pointwise inclusions on biological membranes

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    We calculate the induced elastic-interaction between pointwise membrane inclusions that locally interact up to quadratic order with the membrane curvature tensor. For isotropic inclusions, we recover the usual interaction proportional to the inverse fourth power of the separation, however with a prefactor showing a non-trivial dependence on the rigidity Γ\Gamma of the quadratic potential. In the large Γ\Gamma limit, corresponding to ``hard'' inclusions, we recover the standard prefactor first obtained by Goulian et al. [Europhys. Lett. \textbf{22}, 145 (1993)]. In the small Γ\Gamma limit, corresponding to "soft" inclusions, we recover the recent result of Marchenko and Misbah [Eur. Phys. J. E \textbf{8}, 477 (2002)]. This shows that the latter result bears no fundamental discrepancy with previous works, but simply corresponds to the limit of soft inclusions. We discuss how the same inclusion can be depicted as hard or soft according to the degree of coarse-graining of the pointwise description. Finally, we argue that conical transmembrane proteins should be fundamentally considered as hard inclusions.Comment: 6 page

    Tailoring the interactions between self-propelled bodies

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    We classify the interactions between self-propelled particles moving at a constant speed from symmetry considerations. We establish a systematic expansion for the two-body forces in the spirit of a multipolar expansion. This formulation makes it possible to rationalize most of the models introduced so far within a common framework. We distinguish between three classes of physical interactions: (i) potential forces, (ii) inelastic collisions and (iii) non-reciprocal interactions involving polar or nematic alignment with an induced field. This framework provides simple design rules for the modeling and the fabrication of self-propelled bodies interacting via physical interactions. A class of possible interactions that should yield new phases of active matter is highlighted

    Effects of intermediate bound states in dynamic force spectroscopy

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    We revisit here some aspects of the interpretation of dynamic force spectroscopy experiments. The standard theory predicts a typical unbinding force ff^* linearly proportional to the logarithm of the loading rate rr when a single energetical barrier controls the unbinding process; for a more complex situation of NN barriers, it predicts at most NN linear segments for the ff^* vs. log(r)\log(r) curve, each segment characterizing a different barrier. We here extend this existing picture using a refined approximation, we provide a more general analytical formula, and show that in principle up to N(N+1)/2N(N+1)/2 segments can show up experimentally. As a consequence the interpretation of data can be ambiguous, for the characteristics and even the number of barriers. A further possible outcome of a multiple-barrier landscape is a bimodal or multimodal distribution of the unbinding force at a given loading rate, a feature recently observed experimentally.Comment: 7 pages, 5 figure