Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 40, 2015
Previous Article Next Article

A theory for the phase behavior of mixtures of active particles

Author affiliations

Abstract

Systems at equilibrium like molecular or colloidal suspensions have a well-defined thermal energy kBT that quantifies the particles' kinetic energy and gauges how “hot” or “cold” the system is. For systems far from equilibrium, such as active matter, it is unclear whether the concept of a “temperature” exists and whether self-propelled entities are capable of thermally equilibrating like passive Brownian suspensions. Here we develop a simple mechanical theory to study the phase behavior and “temperature” of a mixture of self-propelled particles. A mixture of active swimmers and passive Brownian particles is an ideal system for discovery of the temperature of active matter and the quantities that get shared upon particle collisions. We derive an explicit equation of state for the active/passive mixture to compute a phase diagram and to generalize thermodynamic concepts like the chemical potential and free energy for a mixture of nonequilibrium species. We find that different stability criteria predict in general different phase boundaries, facilitating considerations in simulations and experiments about which ensemble of variables are held fixed and varied.

Graphical abstract: A theory for the phase behavior of mixtures of active particles

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
21 Jul 2015
Accepted
21 Aug 2015
First published
01 Sep 2015

This article is Open Access

Soft Matter, 2015,11, 7920-7931
Article type
Paper
Author version available

A theory for the phase behavior of mixtures of active particles

S. C. Takatori and J. F. Brady, Soft Matter, 2015, 11, 7920
DOI: 10.1039/C5SM01792K

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported Licence. Material from this article can be used in other publications provided that the correct acknowledgement is given with the reproduced material and it is not used for commercial purposes.

Reproduced material should be attributed as follows:

  • For reproduction of material from NJC:
    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the RSC.
  • For reproduction of material from PCCP:
    [Original citation] - Published by the PCCP Owner Societies.
  • For reproduction of material from PPS:
    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the European Society for Photobiology, the European Photochemistry Association, and RSC.
  • For reproduction of material from all other RSC journals:
    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Information about reproducing material from RSC articles with different licences is available on our Permission Requests page.


Social activity

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements