Article (Scientific journals)
Autonomous Engines Driven by Active Matter: Energetics and Design Principles
Pietzonka, Patrick; Fodor, Etienne; Lohrmann, Christoph et al.
2019In Physical Review X, 9 (4)
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Abstract :
[en] Because of its nonequilibrium character, active matter in a steady state can drive engines that autonomously deliver work against a constant mechanical force or torque. As a generic model for such an engine, we consider systems that contain one or several active components and a single passive one that is asymmetric in its geometrical shape or its interactions. Generally, one expects that such an asymmetry leads to a persistent, directed current in the passive component, which can be used for the extraction of work. We validate this expectation for a minimal model consisting of an active and a passive particle on a one-dimensional lattice. It leads us to identify thermodynamically consistent measures for the efficiency of the conversion of isotropic activity to directed work. For systems with continuous degrees of freedom, work cannot be extracted using a one-dimensional geometry under quite general conditions. In contrast, we put forward two-dimensional shapes of a movable passive obstacle that are best suited for the extraction of work, which we compare with analytical results for an idealized work-extraction mechanism. For a setting with many noninteracting active particles, we use a mean-field approach to calculate the power and the efficiency, which we validate by simulations. Surprisingly, this approach reveals that the interaction with the passive obstacle can mediate cooperativity between otherwise noninteracting active particles, which enhances the extracted power per active particle significantly.
Disciplines :
Physics
Author, co-author :
Pietzonka, Patrick;  Univ Cambridge, Ctr Math Sci, DAMTP, Wilberforce Rd, Cambridge CB3 0WA, England
Fodor, Etienne ;  University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Science, Technology and Medicine (FSTM) > Department of Physics and Materials Science (DPHYMS)
Lohrmann, Christoph;  II. Institut für Theoretische Physik, Universität Stuttgart, 70550 Stuttgart, Germany
E., Cates Michael;  Univ Cambridge, Ctr Math Sci, DAMTP, Wilberforce Rd, Cambridge CB3 0WA, England
Seifert, Udo;  II. Institut für Theoretische Physik, Universität Stuttgart, 70550 Stuttgart, Germany
External co-authors :
yes
Language :
English
Title :
Autonomous Engines Driven by Active Matter: Energetics and Design Principles
Publication date :
2019
Journal title :
Physical Review X
ISSN :
2160-3308
Publisher :
AMER PHYSICAL SOC, ONE PHYSICS ELLIPSE, COLLEGE PK, MD 20740-3844 USA, Unknown/unspecified
Volume :
9
Issue :
4
Peer reviewed :
Peer Reviewed verified by ORBi
Focus Area :
Physics and Materials Science
Commentary :
Article
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