Collective motion of active matter

Faculty Commons material developed by Kun-Ta Wu - Published January 13, 2022

Authors: Meng Lian (Chemical Engineering), Teagan E. Bate (Physics), Kun-Ta Wu (Physics) Institution: Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA 01609 Learning objectives: 1. Recognize active matter and its associated collective dynamics 2. Understand how the collective motion of active matter can be described by the Vicsek model 3. Understand how the collective motion of active matter is affected by constituent density, noise, and radius of alignment Description: Active matter differs from passive matter in that it can transduce chemical energy into mechanical work. Active matter can perform tasks that passive matter cannot, such as transport cargo and pump fluids without external pumps. The purpose of this module is to promote active matter education and help teachers to bring the active matter concept to their classroom. To reach this goal, this module contains the following materials: 1. Slides (https://active-matter-module.wpi.edu/slides.php) that introduce active matter and one of the simplest but most powerful active matter theory – The Vicsek model. Teachers are welcome to use the slides to integrate into their course. 2. Lecture YouTube video (https://youtu.be/89CEAIRA5_k) that introduces the active matter and the Vicsek model based on the slides. Teachers are welcome to use the video or part of the video to assist teaching active matter in their classes. 3. User interfaced simulation that illustrates the collective motion of active matter based on the Vicsek model. Users can download the simulation, install it on their computer, and run the simulation without the need of programming background. Users can either explore the simulation themselves or follow the suggested exercise to experience the collective motion and its associated phase transition of active matter systems. *Download the simulation for Windows: https://active-matter-module.wpi.edu/vsimWin.php *Download the simulation for MacOS: https://active-matter-module.wpi.edu/vsimMac.php 4. Quiz (https://wpi.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_9zDvh6BAmDuGdro) that measures students’ learning outcomes in active matter subject. 5. Survey (https://wpi.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_24aGgx4ORLuEsU6) that collects feedback from users for improving the module Author contribution: M.L. and T.E.B. developed the module. M.L., T.E.B. and K.-T.W. developed the simulation. K.-T.W. supervised the module development. Acknowledgement: Development of this module is supported by Early Research Experience in E-Term program in Worcester Polytechnic Institute and National Science Foundation (NSF-CBET-2045621).

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