Regular Article - Flowing Matter
Alignment rule and geometric confinement lead to stability of a vortex in active flow
School of Physics and Astronomy, Institute of Natural Sciences, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 200240, Shanghai, China
Accepted: 9 January 2023
Published online: 22 January 2023
Vortices are hallmarks of a wide range of nonequilibrium phenomena in fluids at multiple length scales. In this work, we numerically study the whirling motion of self-propelled soft point particles confined in circular domain, and aim at addressing the stability issue of the coherent vortex structure. By the combination of dynamical and statistical analysis at the individual particle level, we reveal the persistence of the whirling motion resulting from the subtle competition of activity and geometric confinement. In the stable whirling motion, the scenario of the coexistence of the irregular microscopic motions of individual particles and the regular global whirling motion is fundamentally different from the motion of a vortex in passive fluid. Possible orientational order coexisting with the whirling are further explored. This work shows the stability mechanism of vortical dynamics in active media under the alignment rule in confined space and may have implications in creating and harnessing macroscale coherent dynamical states by tuning the confining geometry.
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