From flocking birds to swarming molecules, physicists are seeking to understand ‘active matter’
Biologists and physicists have speculated for decades about the generaprinciples of living matter, but research on cellular processes has focused on identifying the dizzying array of molecules involved, rather than on working out the principles by which they self-organize.
Active matter is now the name of a hot new subfield of soft matter physics—one that has literally exploded over the last 15–20 years, with its own journals, its own conferences, its own training programs, its own institutes. The most extensively studied model, the Vicsek model, which we shall take a peak at below, dates from 1995.In Vicsek’s words
“A simple model with a novel type of dynamics is introduced in order to investigate the emergence of self-ordered motion in systems of particles with biologically motivated interaction. In our model particles are driven with a constant…
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