Glassy swirls of active dumbbells

TitleGlassy swirls of active dumbbells
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsMandal R, Bhuyan PJyoti, Chaudhuri P, Rao M, Dasgupta C
JournalPhysical Review E
Start Page042605

Is an active glass different from a conventional passive glass? To address this, we study the dynamics of a dense binary mixture of soft dumbbells, each subject to an active propulsion force and thermal fluctuations. This dense assembly shows dynamical arrest, first to a translational and then to a rotational glass, as one reduces temperature T or the self-propulsion force f. We monitor the dynamics along an iso-relaxation-time contour in the (Tf) plane. We find dramatic differences both in the fragility and in the nature of dynamical heterogeneity, which characterize the onset of glass formation—the activity-induced glass exhibits large swirls or vortices, whose scale is set by activity, and it appears to diverge as one approaches the glass transition. This large collective swirling movement should have implications for collective cell migration in epithelial layers. We construct continuum hydrodynamic equations for the simulated system, and we show that the observed behavior of this growing dynamic length scale can be understood from these equations.

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