Defect dynamics in active nematics

Luca Giomi, Mark J. Bowick, Prashant Mishra, Rastko Sknepnek, M. Cristina Marchetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

161 Scopus citations


Topological defects are distinctive signatures of liquid crystals. They profoundly affect the viscoelastic behaviour of the fluid by constraining the orientational structure in a way that inevitably requires global changes not achievable with any set of local deformations. In active nematic liquid crystals, topological defects not only dictate the global structure of the director, but also act as local sources of motion, behaving as self-propelled particles. In this article, we present a detailed analytical and numerical study of the mechanics of topological defects in active nematic liquid crystals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number20130365
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Issue number2029
StatePublished - Nov 28 2014


  • Active liquid crystals
  • Chaotic dynamics
  • Self-propelled particles
  • Topological defects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Mathematics
  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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