Welcome to the new version of CaltechAUTHORS. Login is currently restricted to library staff. If you notice any issues, please email coda@library.caltech.edu
Published December 2015 | Published
Journal Article Open

The force on a boundary in active matter


We present a general theory for determining the force (and torque) exerted on a boundary (or body) in active matter. The theory extends the description of passive Brownian colloids to self-propelled active particles and applies for all ratios of the thermal energy k_BT to the swimmer's activity k_sT_s=ζU^2_0τ_R/6, where ζ is the Stokes drag coefficient, U0_ is the swim speed and τ_R is the reorientation time of the active particles. The theory, which is valid on all length and time scales, has a natural microscopic length scale over which concentration and orientation distributions are confined near boundaries, but the microscopic length does not appear in the force. The swim pressure emerges naturally and dominates the behaviour when the boundary size is large compared to the swimmer's run length ℓ=U_0τ_R. The theory is used to predict the motion of bodies of all sizes immersed in active matter.

Additional Information

© 2015 Cambridge University Press. Received 1 September 2015; revised 10 October 2015; accepted 21 October 2015; first published online 13 November 2015. Discussions with S. C. Takatori and E. W. Burkholder are greatly appreciated. This work was supported by NSF grant no. CBET 1437570.

Attached Files

Published - S0022112015006217a.pdf


Files (715.0 kB)
Name Size Download all
715.0 kB Preview Download

Additional details

August 20, 2023
October 18, 2023