Asymmetric exchange in flocks

14 May 2016  ·  Dadhichi Lokrshi Prawar, Chajwa Rahul, Maitra Ananyo, Ramaswamy Sriram ·

As the constituents of a flock are polar, one expects a fore-aft asymmetry in their interactions. We show here that the resulting antisymmetric part of the "exchange coupling" between a bird and its neighbours, if large enough, destabilizes the flock through spontaneous turning of the birds... The same asymmetry also yields a natural mechanism for a difference between the speed of advection of information along the flock and the speed of the flock itself. We show that the absence of detailed balance, and not merely the breaking of Galilean invariance, is responsible for this difference. We delineate the conditions on parameters and wavenumber for the existence of the turning instability. Lastly we present an alternative perspective based on flow-alignment effects in an active liquid crystal with turning inertia in contact with a momentum sink. read more

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Statistical Mechanics Soft Condensed Matter Biological Physics Fluid Dynamics