Enhanced diffusion and ordering of self-propelled rods

Aparna Baskaran, M. Cristina Marchetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

197 Scopus citations


Starting from a minimal physical model of self-propelled hard rods on a substrate in two dimensions, we derive a modified Smoluchowski equation for the system. Self-propulsion enhances longitudinal diffusion and modifies the mean-field excluded volume interaction. From the Smoluchowski equation we obtain hydrodynamic equations for rod concentration, polarization and nematic order parameter. New results at large scales are a lowering of the density of the isotropic-nematic transition and a strong enhancement of boundary effects in confined self-propelled systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number268101
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number26
StatePublished - Dec 22 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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