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Stationary states of an active Brownian particle in a harmonic trap
Published in American Physical Society
PMID: 37723685
Volume: 108
Issue: 2
We study the stationary states of an overdamped active Brownian particle (ABP) in a harmonic trap in two dimensions via mathematical calculations and numerical simulations. In addition to translational diffusion, the ABP self-propels with a certain velocity, whose magnitude is constant, but its direction is subject to Brownian rotation. In the limit where translational diffusion is negligible, the stationary distribution of the particle's position shows a transition between two different shapes, one with maximum and the other with minimum density at the center, as the trap stiffness is increased. We show that this nonintuitive behavior is captured by the relevant Fokker-Planck equation, which, under minimal assumptions, predicts a continuous phase transition-like change between the two different shapes. As the translational diffusion coefficient is increased, both these distributions converge into the equilibrium, Boltzmann form. Our simulations support the analytical predictions and also show that the probability distribution of the orientation angle of the self-propulsion velocity undergoes a transition from unimodal to bimodal forms in this limit. We also extend our simulations to a three-dimensional trap and find similar behavior. © 2023 authors. Published by the American Physical Society. Published by the American Physical Society under the terms of the "https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/"Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license. Further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the published article's title, journal citation, and DOI. Funded by SCOAP3.
About the journal
JournalPhysical Review E
PublisherAmerican Physical Society