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Mode coupling theory for nonequilibrium glassy dynamics of thermal self-propelled particles

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Abstract

We present a mode coupling theory study for the relaxation and glassy dynamics of a system of strongly interacting self-propelled particles, wherein the self-propulsion force is described by Ornstein–Uhlenbeck colored noise and thermal noises are included. Our starting point is an effective Smoluchowski equation governing the distribution function of particle positions, from which we derive a memory function equation for the time dependence of density fluctuations in nonequilibrium steady states. With the basic assumption of the absence of macroscopic currents and standard mode coupling approximation, we can obtain expressions for the irreducible memory function and other relevant dynamic terms, wherein the nonequilibrium character of the active system is manifested through an averaged diffusion coefficient [D with combining macron] and a nontrivial structural function S2(q) with q being the magnitude of wave vector q. [D with combining macron] and S2(q) enter the frequency term and the vertex term for the memory function, and thus influence both the short time and the long time dynamics of the system. With these equations obtained, we study the glassy dynamics of this thermal self-propelled particle system by investigating the Debye–Waller factor fq and relaxation time τα as functions of the persistence time τp of self-propulsion, the single particle effective temperature Teff as well as the number density ρ. Consequently, we find the critical density ρc for given τp shifts to larger values with increasing magnitude of propulsion force or effective temperature, in good accordance with previously reported simulation work. In addition, the theory facilitates us to study the critical effective temperature Tceff for fixed ρ as well as its dependence on τp. We find that Tceff increases with τp and in the limit τp → 0, it approaches the value for a simple passive Brownian system as expected. Our theory also well recovers the results for passive systems and can be easily extended to more complex systems such as active–passive mixtures.

Graphical abstract: Mode coupling theory for nonequilibrium glassy dynamics of thermal self-propelled particles

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Publication details

The article was received on 29 Apr 2017, accepted on 19 May 2017 and first published on 05 Jun 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7SM00852J
Citation: Soft Matter, 2017, Advance Article
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    Mode coupling theory for nonequilibrium glassy dynamics of thermal self-propelled particles

    M. Feng and Z. Hou, Soft Matter, 2017, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7SM00852J

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