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Phys Rev Lett. 2008 Dec 31;101(26):268101.

Enhanced diffusion and ordering of self-propelled rods.

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Physics Department, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York 13244, USA.


Starting from a minimal physical model of self-propelled hard rods on a substrate in two dimensions, we derive a modified Smoluchowski equation for the system. Self-propulsion enhances longitudinal diffusion and modifies the mean-field excluded volume interaction. From the Smoluchowski equation we obtain hydrodynamic equations for rod concentration, polarization and nematic order parameter. New results at large scales are a lowering of the density of the isotropic-nematic transition and a strong enhancement of boundary effects in confined self-propelled systems.

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