Active beating modes of two clamped filaments driven by molecular motors.
Journal of the Royal Society, Interface 19:186 (2022) 20210693
Abstract:Biological cilia pump the surrounding fluid by asymmetric beating that is driven by dynein motors between sliding microtubule doublets. The complexity of biological cilia raises the question about minimal systems that can re-create similar patterns of motion. One such system consists of a pair of microtubules that are clamped at the proximal end. They interact through dynein motors that cover one of the filaments and pull against the other one. Here, we study theoretically the static shapes and the active dynamics of such a system. Using the theory of elastica, we analyse the shapes of two filaments of different lengths with clamped ends. Starting from equal lengths, we observe a transition similar to Euler buckling leading to a planar shape. When further increasing the length ratio, the system assumes a non-planar shape with spontaneously broken chiral symmetry after a secondary bifurcation and then transitions to planar again. The predicted curves agree with experimentally observed shapes of microtubule pairs. The dynamical system can have a stable fixed point, with either bent or straight filaments, or limit cycle oscillations. The latter match many properties of ciliary motility, demonstrating that a two-filament system can serve as a minimal actively beating model.
Skyrmions in twisted bilayer graphene: stability, pairing, and crystallization
ArXiv 2112.06936 (2021)
Microscopic characterization of Ising conformal field theory in Rydberg chains
Physical Review B: Condensed matter and materials physics American Physical Society 104:23 (2021) 235109
Abstract:Rydberg chains provide an appealing platform for probing conformal field theories (CFTs) that capture universal behavior in a myriad of physical settings. Focusing on a Rydberg chain at the Ising transition separating charge density wave and disordered phases, we establish a detailed link between microscopics and low-energy physics emerging at criticality. We first construct lattice incarnations of primary fields in the underlying Ising CFT including chiral fermions, a nontrivial task given that the Rydberg chain Hamiltonian does not admit an exact fermionization. With this dictionary in hand, we compute correlations of microscopic Rydberg operators, paying special attention to finite, open chains of immediate experimental relevance. We further develop a method to quantify how second-neighbor Rydberg interactions tune the sign and strength of four-fermion couplings in the Ising CFT. Finally, we determine how the Ising fields evolve when four-fermion couplings drive an instability to Ising tricriticality. Our results pave the way to a thorough experimental characterization of Ising criticality in Rydberg arrays, and can inform the design of novel higher-dimensional phases based on coupled critical chains.
Kekulé Spiral Order at All Nonzero Integer Fillings in Twisted Bilayer Graphene
Physical Review X 11:4 (2021)
Abstract:We study magic angle graphene in the presence of both strain and particle-hole symmetry breaking due to nonlocal interlayer tunneling. We perform a self-consistent Hartree-Fock study that incorporates these effects alongside realistic interaction and substrate potentials and explore a comprehensive set of competing orders including those that break translational symmetry at arbitrary wave vectors. We find that at all nonzero integer fillings very small strains, comparable to those measured in scanning tunneling experiments, stabilize a fundamentally new type of time-reversal-symmetric and spatially nonuniform order. This order, which we dub the "incommensurate Kekulé spiral"(IKS) order, spontaneously breaks both the emergent valley-charge conservation and moiré translation symmetries but preserves a modified translation symmetry T^′-which simultaneously shifts the spatial coordinates and rotates the U(1) angle which characterizes the spontaneous intervalley coherence. We discuss the phenomenological and microscopic properties of this order. We argue that our findings are consistent with all experimental observations reported so far, suggesting a unified explanation of the global phase diagram in terms of the IKS order.
Entanglement action for the real-space entanglement spectra of chiral abelian quantum Hall wave functions
Physical Review B American Physical Society 104 (2021) 195434