Dry active turbulence in a model for microtubule-motor mixtures

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We study the dynamics and phase behaviour of a dry suspension of microtubules and molecular motors. We obtain a set of continuum equations by rigorously coarse graining a microscopic model where motor-induced interactions lead to parallel or antiparallel ordering. Through numerical simulations, we show that this model generically creates either stable stripes, or a never-settling pattern where stripes periodically form, rotate and then split up. We derive a minimal model which displays the same instability as the full model, and clarifies the underlying physical mechanism. The necessary ingredients are an extensile flux arising from microtubule sliding and an interfacial torque favouring ordering along density gradients. We argue that our minimal model unifies various previous observations of chaotic behaviour in dry active matter into a general universality class.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSoft Matter
Early online date8 Jul 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Jul 2019


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