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Effective Langevin equations for a polar tracer in an active bath

Knežević, Miloš; Stark, Holger

We study the motion of a polar tracer, having a concave surface, immersed in a two-dimensional suspension of active particles. Using Brownian dynamics simulations, we measure the distributions and auto-correlation functions of force and torque exerted by active particles on the tracer. The tracer experiences a finite average force along its polar axis, while all the correlation functions show exponential decay in time. Using these insights we construct the full coarse-grained Langevin description for tracer position and orientation, where the active particles are subsumed into an effective self-propulsion force and exponentially correlated noise for both translations and rotations. The ensuing mesoscopic dynamics can be described in terms of five dimensionless parameters. We perform a thorough parameter study of the mean squared displacement, which illustrates how the different parameters influence the tracer dynamics, which crosses over from a ballistic to diffusive motion. We also demonstrate that the distribution of tracer displacements evolves from a non-Gaussian shape at early stages to a Gaussian behavior for sufficiently long times. Finally, for a given set of microscopic parameters, we establish a procedure to estimate the matching parameters of our effective model, and show that the resulting dynamics is in a very good quantitative agreement with the one obtained in Brownian dynamics simulations.
Published in: New Journal of Physics, 10.1088/1367-2630/abc91e, IOP