Ramifications of disorder on active particles in one dimension

Ydan Ben Dor, Eric Woillez, Yariv Kafri, Mehran Kardar, Alexandre P. Solon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effects of quenched disorder on a single and many active run-and-tumble particles are studied in one dimension. For a single particle, we consider both the steady-state distribution and the particle's dynamics subject to disorder in three parameters: a bounded external potential, the particle's speed, and its tumbling rate. We show that in the case of a disordered potential, the behavior is like an equilibrium particle diffusing on a random force landscape, implying a dynamics that is logarithmically slow in time. In the situations of disorder in the speed or tumbling rate, we find that the particle generically exhibits diffusive motion, although particular choices of the disorder may lead to anomalous diffusion. Based on the single-particle results, we find that in a system with many interacting particles, disorder in the potential leads to strong clustering. We characterize the clustering in two different regimes depending on the system size and show that the mean cluster size scales with the system size, in contrast to nondisordered systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number052610
JournalPhysical Review B (Condensed Matter) (United States)
Issue number5
StatePublished - 21 Nov 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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