University of Cambridge > > DAMTP Statistical Physics and Soft Matter Seminar > Spatiotemporal self-organization of motile bacteria: fluctuations and large deviations

Spatiotemporal self-organization of motile bacteria: fluctuations and large deviations

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  • UserTobias Grafke (Warwick)
  • ClockTuesday 30 January 2018, 13:00-14:00
  • HouseMR11, CMS.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Professor Mike Cates.

Active materials can self-organize in many more ways than their equilibrium counterparts. For example, self-propelled particles with density dependend motility can display motility-induced phase separation (MIPS), resulting in novel routes to pattern formation. In this talk it is shown how internal fluctuations in the population size and swimming speed of motile bacteria have a significant impact on the way they self-organize. Two nontrivial regimes are identified, depending on the population carrying capacity. Below a certain threshold, the fluctuations make bacteria clusters appear and disappear periodically in time at random locations in space, with a period that is roughly independent of the noise amplitude. Above the threshold, bacteria organize in metastable clusters, and fluctuations lead to transitions between those at random times that are exponentially long in the noise amplitude, following specific out-of-equilibrium pathways. Both in the quasi-periodic and the metastable regimes, these findings can be explained by combining tools from large deviation theory with a bifurcation analysis in which the mean bacteria density, assumed to vary slowly via birth and death, plays the role of control parameter.

This talk is part of the DAMTP Statistical Physics and Soft Matter Seminar series.

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