Thursday, July 4, 2013

1307.0704 (Ludovic Berthier)

Nonequilibrium glassy dynamics of self-propelled hard disks    [PDF]

Ludovic Berthier
We analyse the collective dynamics of self-propelled particles in the large density regime where passive particles undergo a kinetic arrest to an amorphous glass state. We capture the competition between self-propulsion and crowding effects with a two-dimensional model of self-propelled hard disks, which we study using Monte-Carlo simulations. Although the activity drives the system far from equilibrium, self-propelled particles undergo a kinetic arrest, which we characterize in detail and compare with its equilibrium counterpart. In particular, the critical density for dynamic arrest continuously shifts to larger density with increasing activity, and the relaxation time is surprisingly well described by an algebraic divergence resulting from the emergence of highly collective dynamics. These results show that dense assemblies of active particles undergo a nonequilibrium glass transition which is profoundly affected by self-propulsion mechanisms.
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