Collective Behavior of Chiral Active Matter: Pattern Formation and Enhanced Flocking
AbstractWe generalize the Vicsek model to describe the collective behavior of polar circle swimmers with local alignment interactions. While the phase transition leading to collective motion in 2D (flocking) occurs at the same interaction to noise ratio as for linear swimmers, as we show, circular motion enhances the polarization in the ordered phase (enhanced flocking) and induces secondary instabilities leading to structure formation. Slow rotations promote macroscopic droplets with late time sizes proportional to the system size (indicating phase separation) whereas fast rotations generate patterns consisting of phase synchronized microflocks with a controllable characteristic size proportional to the average single-particle swimming radius. Our results defy the viewpoint that monofrequent rotations form a vapid extension of the Vicsek model and establish a generic route to pattern formation in chiral active matter with possible applications for understanding and designing rotating microflocks.