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Fluctuation spectra and force generation in nonequilibrium systems
Stockholm University, Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics (Nordita). University of Oxford, UK; Yale University, USA .
Number of Authors: 3
2017 (English)In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, ISSN 0027-8424, E-ISSN 1091-6490, Vol. 114, no 35, 9255-9260 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Many biological systems are appropriately viewed as passive inclusions immersed in an active bath: from proteins on active membranes to microscopic swimmers confined by boundaries. The nonequilibrium forces exerted by the active bath on the inclusions or boundaries often regulate function, and such forces may also be exploited in artificial active materials. Nonetheless, the general phenomenology of these active forces remains elusive. We show that the fluctuation spectrum of the active medium, the partitioning of energy as a function of wavenumber, controls the phenomenology of force generation. We find that, for a narrow, unimodal spectrum, the force exerted by a nonequilibrium system on two embedded walls depends on the width and the position of the peak in the fluctuation spectrum, and oscillates between repulsion and attraction as a function of wall separation. We examine two apparently disparate examples: the Maritime Casimir effect and recent simulations of active Brownian particles. A key implication of our work is that important nonequilibrium interactions are encoded within the fluctuation spectrum. In this sense, the noise becomes the signal.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 114, no 35, 9255-9260 p.
Keyword [en]
Casimir effect, nonequilibrium physics, fluctuations, active matter
National Category
Other Natural Sciences Biological Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-147052DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1701739114ISI: 000408536000029PubMedID: 28811368OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-147052DiVA: diva2:1142690
Available from: 2017-09-20 Created: 2017-09-20 Last updated: 2017-09-20Bibliographically approved

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Wettlaufer, John S.
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