Phase Separation driven by Active Flows
Phys. Rev. Lett. 130, 238201 (2023)
We extend the continuum theories of active nematohydrodynamics to model a two-fluid mixture with separate velocity fields for each fluid component, coupled through a viscous drag. The model is used to study an active nematic fluid mixed with an isotropic fluid. We find microphase separation, and argue that this results from an interplay between active anchoring and active flows driven by concentration gradients. The results may be relevant to cell sorting and the formation of lipid rafts in cell membranes.
Viscoelastic confinement induces periodic flow reversals in active nematics
arXiv preprint arXiv:2307.14919
We use linear stability analysis and hybrid lattice Boltzmann simulations to study the dynamical behaviour of an active nematic confined in a channel made of viscoelastic material. We find that the quiescent, ordered active nematic is unstable above a critical activity. The transition is to a steady flow state for high elasticity of the channel surroundings. However, below a threshold elastic modulus, the system produces spontaneous oscillations with periodic flow reversals. We provide a phase diagram that highlights the region where time-periodic oscillations are observed and explain how they are produced by the interplay of activity and viscoelasticity. Our results suggest new experiments to study the role of viscoelastic confinement in the spatio-temporal organization and control of active matter.
Coupling Turing stripes to active flows
Soft Matter (2021)
We numerically solve the active nematohydrodynamic equations of motion, coupled to a Turing reaction-diffusion model, to study the effect of active nematic flow on the stripe patterns resulting from a Turing instability. If the activity is uniform across the system, the Turing patterns dissociate when the flux from active advection balances that from the reaction-diffusion process. If the activity is coupled to the concentration of Turing morphogens, and neighbouring stripes have equal and opposite activity, the system self organises into a pattern of shearing flows, with stripes tending to fracture and slip sideways to join their neighbours. We discuss the role of active instabilities in controlling the crossover between these limits, Our results are of relevance to mechanochemical coupling in biological systems.
Universal Prethermal Dynamics in Heisenberg Ferromagnets
Phys. Rev. Lett. 125, 230601
We study the far from equilibrium prethermal dynamics of magnons in Heisenberg ferromagnets. We show that such systems exhibit universal self-similar scaling in momentum and time of the quasiparticle distribution function, with the scaling exponents independent of microscopic details or initial conditions. We argue that the SU(2) symmetry of the Hamiltonian, which leads to a strong momentum-dependent magnon-magnon scattering amplitude, gives rise to qualitatively distinct prethermal dynamics from that recently observed in Bose gases. We compute the scaling exponents using the Boltzmann kinetic equation and incoherent initial conditions that can be realized with microwave pumping of magnons. We also compare our numerical results with analytic estimates of the scaling exponents and demonstrate the robustness of the scaling to variations in the initial conditions. Our predictions can be tested in quench experiments of spin systems in optical lattices and pump-probe experiments in ferromagnetic insulators such as yttrium iron garnet.