We study the role of hydrodynamic interactions in the collective behavior of collections of microscopic active particles suspended in a fluid. We introduce a calculational framework that allows us to separate the different contributions to their collective dynamics from hydrodynamic interactions on different length scales. Hence we are able to systematically show that lubrication forces when the particles are very close to each other play as important a role as long-range hydrodynamic interactions in determining their many-body behavior. We find that motility-induced phase separation is suppressed by near-field interactions, leading to open gel-like clusters rather than dense clusters. Interestingly, we find a globally polar ordered phase appears for neutral swimmers with no force dipole that is enhanced by near-field lubrication forces in which the collision process rather than long-range interaction dominates the alignment mechanism.
- Bristol BioDesign Institute
- Synthetic Biology