Swirlonic state of active matter
journal contributionposted on 09.09.2021, 09:17 by NV Brilliantov, H Abutuqayqah, IY Tyukin, SA Matveev
We report a novel state of active matter—a swirlonic state. It is comprised of swirlons, formed by groups of active particles orbiting their common center of mass. These quasi-particles demonstrate a surprising behavior: In response to an external load they move with a constant velocity proportional to the applied force, just as objects in viscous media. The swirlons attract each other and coalesce forming a larger, joint swirlon. The coalescence is extremely slow, decelerating process, resulting in a rarified state of immobile quasi-particles. In addition to the swirlonic state, we observe gaseous, liquid and solid states, depending on the inter-particle and self-driving forces. Interestingly, in contrast to molecular systems, liquid and gaseous states of active matter do not coexist. We explain this unusual phenomenon by the lack of fast particles in active matter. We perform extensive numerical simulations and theoretical analysis. The predictions of the theory agree qualitatively and quantitatively with the simulation results.