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Continuum Theory of Phase Separation Kinetics for Active Brownian Particles

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Original languageEnglish
Article number145702
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume111
Issue number14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2013

Abstract

Active Brownian particles (ABPs), when subject to purely repulsive interactions, are known to undergo activity-induced phase separation broadly resembling an equilibrium (attraction-induced) gas-liquid coexistence. Here we present an accurate continuum theory for the dynamics of phase-separating ABPs, derived by direct coarse graining, capturing leading-order density gradient terms alongside an effective bulk free energy. Such gradient terms do not obey detailed balance; yet we find coarsening dynamics closely resembling that of equilibrium phase separation. Our continuum theory is numerically compared to large-scale direct simulations of ABPs and accurately accounts for domain growth kinetics, domain topologies, and coexistence densities.

    Research areas

  • MOLECULAR-DYNAMICS, FLUCTUATIONS, BACTERIA, MATTER

ID: 10720572