Publications associated with Condensed Matter Theory

Effective Dynamics of Microorganisms That Interact with Their Own Trail.

Physical review letters 117 (2016) 038101-

WT Kranz, A Gelimson, K Zhao, GC Wong, R Golestanian

Like ants, some microorganisms are known to leave trails on surfaces to communicate. We explore how trail-mediated self-interaction could affect the behavior of individual microorganisms when diffusive spreading of the trail is negligible on the time scale of the microorganism using a simple phenomenological model for an actively moving particle and a finite-width trail. The effective dynamics of each microorganism takes on the form of a stochastic integral equation with the trail interaction appearing in the form of short-term memory. For a moderate coupling strength below an emergent critical value, the dynamics exhibits effective diffusion in both orientation and position after a phase of superdiffusive reorientation. We report experimental verification of a seemingly counterintuitive perpendicular alignment mechanism that emerges from the model.

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