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Defect loops in 3D active nematics

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DNMW01 - Optimal design of complex materials

Co-authors: Guillaume Duclos, Minu Varghese, Matthew Peterson, Arvind Baskaran, Aparna Baskaran, Michael Hagan (Martin A. Fisher School of Physics, Brandeis University ), Debarghya Banerjee (Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Göttingen), Federico Toschi (Department of Applied Physics, Eindhoven University of Technology), Sebastian Streichan, Zvonimir Dogic (Department of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara), Vincenzo Vitelli (James Franck Institute and Department of Physics, University of Chicago), Robert Pelcovits (Department of Physics, Brown University), Thomas Powers (School of Engineering and Department of Physics, Brown University). Abstract: In 2D active nematics, internally driven chaotic flows are characterized by the continual production, motion, and annihilation of point defect pairs. We investigate the behavior of active nematics in 3D, for which we have developed an experimental model system of microtubules and molecular motors, as well as numerical modeling approaches. The defects characterizing chaotic flow are here curvilinear rather than point-like. We present a theoretical model predicting a certain class of closed disclination loops to be the system’s generic singularities. Through detailed analysis of experimental and numerically generated configurations, we show how our predictions of defect topology, geometry, and dynamics provide important insights into this highly complex 3D system.

This talk is part of the Isaac Newton Institute Seminar Series series.

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