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Phys Rev Lett. 2010 May 7;104(18):184502. Epub 2010 May 4.

Large-scale collective properties of self-propelled rods.

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Service de Physique de l'Etat Condensé, CEA-Saclay, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, France.


We study, in two space dimensions, the collective properties of constant-speed polar point particles interacting locally by nematic alignment in the presence of noise. This minimal approach to self-propelled rods allows one to deal with large numbers of particles, which exhibit a rich phenomenology distinctively different from all other known models for self-propelled particles. Extensive simulations reveal long-range nematic order, phase separation, and space-time chaos mediated by large-scale segregated structures.

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