Friday, 31 August, 2007
Coupling of Transverse and Longitudinal Response in Stiff Polymers
B. Obermayer and O. Hallatschek -
Phys. Rev. Lett. 99, 098302 (2007)
The time-dependent transverse response of stiff inextensible polymers is well understood on the linear level, where transverse and longitudinal displacements evolve independently. We show that for times beyond a characteristic time tf, longitudinal friction considerably weakens the response compared to the widely used linear response predictions. The corresponding feedback mechanism is explained by scaling arguments and quantified by a systematic theory. Our scaling laws and exact solutions for the transverse response apply to cytoskeletal filaments as well as DNA under tension.