Turbulence-induced clustering in compressible active fluids†
We study a novel phase of active polar fluids, which is characterized by the continuous creation and destruction of dense clusters due to self-sustained turbulence. This state arises due to the interplay between self-advection of the aligned swimmers and their defect topology. The typical cluster size is determined by the characteristic vortex size. Our results are obtained by investigating a continuum model of compressible polar active fluids, which incorporates typical experimental observations in bacterial suspensions, in particular a non-monotone dependence of speed on density.