Twist-induced crossover from two-dimensional to three-dimensional turbulence in active nematics
journal contributionposted on 07.12.2018 by Tyler Shendruk, Kristian Thijssen, Julia M. Yeomans, Amin Doostmohammadi
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While studies of active nematics in two dimensions have shed light on various aspects of the flow regimes and topology of active matter, three-dimensional properties of topological defects and chaotic flows remain unexplored. By confining a film of active nematics between two parallel plates, we use continuum simulations and analytical arguments to demonstrate that the crossover from quasi-two-dimensional (quasi-2D) to threedimensional (3D) chaotic flows is controlled by the morphology of the disclination lines. For small plate separations, the active nematic behaves as a quasi-2D material, with straight topological disclination lines spanning the height of the channel and exhibiting effectively 2D active turbulence. Upon increasing channel height, we find a crossover to 3D chaotic flows due to the contortion of disclinations above a critical activity. Above this critical activity highly contorted disclination lines and disclination loops are formed. We further show that these contortions are engendered by twist perturbations producing a sharp change in the curvature of disclinations.
. K.T. was funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Grant Agreement No. 722497. A.D. was supported by a Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 Research Fellowship
- Mathematical Sciences