11,074 research outputs found

    Self-propulsion against a moving membrane: enhanced accumulation and drag force

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    Self-propulsion (SP) is a main feature of active particles (AP), such as bacteria or biological micromotors, distinguishing them from passive colloids. A renowned consequence of SP is accumulation at static interfaces, even in the absence of hydrodynamic interactions. Here we address the role of SP in the interaction between AP and a moving semipermeable membrane. In particular, we implement a model of noninteracting AP in a channel crossed by a partially penetrable wall, moving at a constant velocity cc. With respect to both the cases of passive colloids with c>0c>0 and AP with c=0c=0, the AP with finite cc show enhancement of accumulation in front of the obstacle and experience a largely increased drag force. This effect is understood in terms of an effective potential localised at the interface between particles and membrane, of height proportional to cτ/ξc\tau/\xi, where τ\tau is the AP's re-orientation time and ξ\xi the width characterising the surface's smoothness (ξ→0\xi\to 0 for hard core obstacles). An approximate analytical scheme is able to reproduce the observed density profiles and the measured drag force, in very good agreement with numerical simulations. The effects discussed here can be exploited for automatic selection and filtering of AP with desired parameters.Comment: 13 pages, 3 figure

    Metadynamic sampling of the free energy landscapes of proteins coupled with a Monte Carlo algorithm

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    Metadynamics is a powerful computational tool to obtain the free energy landscape of complex systems. The Monte Carlo algorithm has proven useful to calculate thermodynamic quantities associated with simplified models of proteins, and thus to gain an ever-increasing understanding on the general principles underlying the mechanism of protein folding. We show that it is possible to couple metadynamics and Monte Carlo algorithms to obtain the free energy of model proteins in a way which is computationally very economical.Comment: Submitted to Gen

    Which is the temperature of granular systems? A mean field model of free cooling inelastic mixtures

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    We consider a mean field model describing the free cooling process of a two component granular mixture, a generalization of so called Maxwell model. The cooling is viewed as an ordering process and the scaling behavior is attributed to the presence of an attractive fixed point at v=0v=0 for the dynamics. By means of asymptotic analysis of the Boltzmann equation and of numerical simulations we get the following results: 1)we establish the existence of two different partial granular temperatures, one for each component, which violates the Zeroth Law of Thermodynamics; 2) we obtain the scaling form of the two distribution functions; 3) we prove the existence of a continuous spectrum of exponents characterizing the inverse-power law decay of the tails of the velocity, which generalizes the previously reported value 4 for the pure model; 4) we find that the exponents depend on the composition, masses and restitution coefficients of the mixture; 5) we also remark that the reported distributions represent a dynamical realization of those predicted by the Non Extensive Statistical Mechanics, in spite of the fact that ours stem from a purely dynamical approach.Comment: 23 pages, 9 figures. submitted for publicatio

    Science leadership for tomorrow: The role of schools of public affairs and universities in meeting needs of public science agencies

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    Recommendations and requirements for the preparation of personnel with some scientific or technological background to enter fields of public policy and administration are reported. University efforts to provide science administration graduate programs are outlined and increased cooperation between government and university resources is outlined

    Driven low density granular mixtures

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    We study the steady state properties of a 2D granular mixture in the presence of energy driving by employing simple analytical estimates and Direct Simulation Monte Carlo. We adopt two different driving mechanisms: a) a homogeneous heat bath with friction and b) a vibrating boundary (thermal or harmonic) in the presence of gravity. The main findings are: the appearance of two different granular temperatures, one for each species; the existence of overpopulated tails in the velocity distribution functions and of non trivial spatial correlations indicating the spontaneous formation of cluster aggregates. In the case of a fluid subject to gravity and to a vibrating boundary, both densities and temperatures display non uniform profiles along the direction normal to the wall, in particular the temperature profiles are different for the two species while the temperature ratio is almost constant with the height. Finally, we obtained the velocity distributions at different heights and verified the non gaussianity of the resulting distributions.Comment: 19 pages, 12 figures, submitted for publicatio

    Anomalous Aharonov--Bohm gap oscillations in carbon nanotubes

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    The gap oscillations caused by a magnetic flux penetrating a carbon nanotube represent one of the most spectacular observation of the Aharonov-Bohm effect at the nano--scale. Our understanding of this effect is, however, based on the assumption that the electrons are strictly confined on the tube surface, on trajectories that are not modified by curvature effects. Using an ab-initio approach based on Density Functional Theory we show that this assumption fails at the nano-scale inducing important corrections to the physics of the Aharonov-Bohm effect. Curvature effects and electronic density spilled out of the nanotube surface are shown to break the periodicity of the gap oscillations. We predict the key phenomenological features of this anomalous Aharonov-Bohm effect in semi-conductive and metallic tubes and the existence of a large metallic phase in the low flux regime of Multi-walled nanotubes, also suggesting possible experiments to validate our results.Comment: 7 figure

    Steady state properties of a mean field model of driven inelastic mixtures

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    We investigate a Maxwell model of inelastic granular mixture under the influence of a stochastic driving and obtain its steady state properties in the context of classical kinetic theory. The model is studied analytically by computing the moments up to the eighth order and approximating the distributions by means of a Sonine polynomial expansion method. The main findings concern the existence of two different granular temperatures, one for each species, and the characterization of the distribution functions, whose tails are in general more populated than those of an elastic system. These analytical results are tested against Monte Carlo numerical simulations of the model and are in general in good agreement. The simulations, however, reveal the presence of pronounced non-gaussian tails in the case of an infinite temperature bath, which are not well reproduced by the Sonine method.Comment: 23 pages, 10 figures, submitted for publicatio

    Collision and fusion of counterpropagating micron-sized optical beams in non-uniformly biased photorefractive crystals

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    We theoretically investigate collision of optical beams travelling in opposite directions through a centrosymmetric photorefractive crystal biased by a spatially non-uniform voltage. We analytically predict the fusion of counterpropagating solitons in conditions in which the applied voltage is rapidly modulated along the propagation axis, so that self-bending is suppressed by the "restoring symmetry" mechanism. Moreover, when the applied voltage is slowly modulated, we predict that the modified self-bending allows conditions in which the two beams fuse together, forming a curved light-channel splice.Comment: 12 page
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