We consider a collection of self-driven apolar particles on a substrate that organize into an active nematic phase at sufficiently high density or low noise. Using the dynamical renormalization group, we systematically study the two-dimensional fluctuating ordered phase in a coarse-grained hydrodynamic description involving both the nematic director and the conserved density field. In the presence of noise, we show that the system always displays only quasi-long-ranged orientational order beyond a crossover scale. A careful analysis of the nonlinearities permitted by symmetry reveals that activity is dangerously irrelevant over the linearized description, allowing giant number fluctuations to persist although now with strong finite-size effects and a nonuniversal scaling exponent. Nonlinear effects from the active currents lead to power-law correlations in the density field, thereby preventing macroscopic phase separation in the thermodynamic limit.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
- Statistics and Probability
- Condensed Matter Physics