Chapter

Active fluids and gels

Frank Jülicher

in New Trends in the Physics and Mechanics of Biological Systems

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780199605835
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729522 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199605835.003.0004

Series: Lecture Notes of the Les Houches Summer School

Active fluids and gels

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This chapter outlines the general hydrodynamic theory of active polar fluids and gels. It starts from a fluid in thermal equilibrium and uses concepts from nonequilibrium thermodynamics to arrive at hydrodynamic equations. It focuses on slow or hydrodynamic variables in the system, and identifies conjugate thermodynamic fluxes and forces. In linear response theory, the fluxes can be expressed using dissipative and reactive coupling coefficients. Together with conservation laws, the full hydrodynamic equations can be written. The chapter discusses simple situations to illustrate the novel physics that emerges in such systems. It concludes with a brief discussion of biological examples for which such approaches are relevant.

Keywords: hydrodynamic equations; active polar gels; fluids; thermodynamic flux

Chapter.  9737 words. 

Subjects: Physics

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