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Monday, 04 November, 2013

Critical Assessment of the Boltzmann Approach to Active Systems

F. Thüroff, C. Weber, and E. Frey -
Phys. Rev. Lett., Vol. 111 (19), 190601 (2013)

Generic models of propelled particle systems posit that the emergence of polar order is driven by the competition between local alignment and noise. Although this notion has been confirmed employing the Boltzmann equation, the range of applicability of this equation remains elusive. We introduce a broad class of mesoscopic collision rules and analyze the prerequisites for the emergence of polar order in the framework of kinetic theory. Our findings suggest that a Boltzmann approach is appropriate for weakly aligning systems but is incompatible with experiments on cluster forming systems.


Article on journal's website