Active time scales for passive particles in bacterial baths

Condensed Matter lunchtime seminar

Active time scales for passive particles in bacterial baths

  • Event time: 1:00pm
  • Event date: 19th October 2015
  • Speaker: (School of Physics & Astronomy, University of Edinburgh)
  • Location: Room 2511,

Event details

The interactions of swimming bacteria with passive particles have been shown to give rise to a super diffusive component in the displacement of the particles[1]. The imparted active motion on the particles can lead to effective attractive interactions[2] and may facilitate out-of-equilibrium transport effects[3]. In this work, to elucidate the origin of active-passive interactions, we study the effects of a bath of swimming E. coli bacteria on dilute colloidal particles of similar size, specifically of radii between 1 and 4 microns, which have sedimented on a glass substrate. We focus on time ranges between a few milliseconds to a few seconds and by looking at the particle displacements through particle tracking, we experimentally observe two components in the active diffusivity, characterized by a short (~20 ms) and a larger correlation time (~100 ms). The larger active time scale is found to be linked to close range interactions between particles and bacteria, while the shorter time scale is discussed in terms of longer ranged hydrodynamic interactions, through experiments which separately track bacterial and particle motions and correlate them as a function of distance.

[1] X.-L. Wu and A. Libchaber, Phys. Rev. Lett., 2000, 84, 3017–3020

[2] L. Angelani, C. Maggi, M. Bernardini, A. Rizzo and R. Di Leonardo, Phys. Rev. Lett., 2011, 107, 138302.

[3] N. Koumakis, A. Lepore, C. Maggi and R. Di Leonardo, Nat. Commun., 2013, 4, 2588.

This is a weekly series of informal talks given primarily by members of the soft condensed matter and statistical mechanics groups, but is also open to members of other groups and external visitors. The aim of the series is to promote discussion and learning of various topics at a level suitable to the broad background of the group. Everyone is welcome to attend..

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