Like most physical systems, in active matter, the characteristics of interaction play an important role. For example, the extent of attraction can switch a collective of particles from a homogeneous mixture to phase-separated clusters. Further, particle concavity in shape-changing active systems can change interactions from repulsive to attractive. The way that the force transmits can also be an essential factor. For instance, while many interactions transmit through direct or short-ranged contact (e.g., collision or magnetic attraction), there are interactions that require the full description of the force-generating field to describe motion. These interactions can bring interesting features such as time delays and non-reciprocity, which are less common in short-ranged interacting systems. Here, I will use several examples from my Ph.D. works to show the rich dynamics of active matter interacting through a field. Examples include active locomotors interacting through an elastic membrane that mimics motion in curved space-time, and resource-consuming agents driven by resource depletion that form different states of matter. Through these studies, I will also show how the connection between field-mediated interactions and classical fields could allow us to explain and explore emergent phenomena in active matter using inspirations and tools from field theory.
Recording of Talk: http://www.kaltura.com/tiny/00i3l