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Disorder-mediated crowd control in an active matter system

Pinçe, E; Velu, SK; Callegari, A; Elahi, P; Gigan, S; Volpe, G; Volpe, G; (2016) Disorder-mediated crowd control in an active matter system. Nature Communications , 7 , Article 10907. 10.1038/ncomms10907. Green open access

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Abstract

Living active matter systems such as bacterial colonies, schools of fish and human crowds, display a wealth of emerging collective and dynamic behaviours as a result of far-from-equilibrium interactions. The dynamics of these systems are better understood and controlled considering their interaction with the environment, which for realistic systems is often highly heterogeneous and disordered. Here, we demonstrate that the presence of spatial disorder can alter the long-term dynamics in a colloidal active matter system, making it switch between gathering and dispersal of individuals. At equilibrium, colloidal particles always gather at the bottom of any attractive potential; however, under non-equilibrium driving forces in a bacterial bath, the colloids disperse if disorder is added to the potential. The depth of the local roughness in the environment regulates the transition between gathering and dispersal of individuals in the active matter system, thus inspiring novel routes for controlling emerging behaviours far from equilibrium.

Type: Article
Title: Disorder-mediated crowd control in an active matter system
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/ncomms10907
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms10907
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Chemistry
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1476709
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