Spontaneous chiral symmetry breaking in collective active motion

Rebekka E. Breier, Robin L. B. Selinger, Giovanni Ciccotti, Stephan Herminghaus, Marco G. Mazza
2016 Physical review. E  
Chiral symmetry breaking is ubiquitous in biological systems, from DNA to bacterial suspensions. A key unresolved problem is how chiral structures may spontaneously emerge from achiral interactions. We study a simple model of bacterial suspensions in three dimensions that effectively incorporates active motion and hydrodynamic interactions. We perform large-scale molecular dynamics simulations (up to $10^6$ particles) and describe stable (or long-lived metastable) collective states that exhibit
more » ... states that exhibit chiral organization although the interactions are achiral. We elucidate under which conditions these chiral states will emerge and grow to large scales. We also study a related equilibrium model that clarifies the role of orientational fluctuations.
doi:10.1103/physreve.93.022410 pmid:26986365 fatcat:drnj6wxxzjhxhi64i7crxgt5jy