Sedimentation, trapping, and rectification of dilute bacteria

J. Tailleur, M. E. Cates

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The run-and-tumble dynamics of bacteria, as exhibited by E. coli, offers a simple experimental realization of non-Brownian, yet diffusive, particles. Here we present some analytic and numerical results for models of the ideal (low-density) limit in which the particles have no hydrodynamic or other interactions and hence undergo independent motions. We address three cases: sedimentation under gravity; confinement by a harmonic external potential; and rectification by a strip of "funnel gates" which we model by a zone in which tumble rate depends on swim direction. We compare our results with recent experimental and simulation literature and highlight similarities and differences with the diffusive motion of colloidal particles. Copyright (C) EPLA, 2009

Original languageEnglish
Article number60002
Pages (from-to)-
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Physical Society Letters (EPL)
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009


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