Rotating states of self-propelling particles in two dimensions

Hsuan Yi Chen, Kwan Tai Leung

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21 Scopus citations


We present particle-based simulations and a continuum theory for steady rotating flocks formed by self-propelling particles (SPPs) in two-dimensional space. Our models include realistic but simple rules for the self-propelling, drag, and interparticle interactions. Among other coherent structures, in particle-based simulations we find steady rotating flocks when the velocity of the particles lacks long-range alignment. Physical characteristics of the rotating flock are measured and discussed. We construct a phenomenological continuum model and seek steady-state solutions for a rotating flock. We show that the velocity and density profiles become simple in two limits. In the limit of weak alignment, we find that all particles move with the same speed and the density of particles vanishes near the center of the flock due to the divergence of centripetal force. In the limit of strong body force, the density of particles within the flock is uniform and the velocity of the particles close to the center of the flock becomes small.

Original languageEnglish
Article number056107
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2006


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