Large-scale collective behavior of swimming microorganisms at high concentrations

Andrey Sokolov, Igor S. Aranson, John O. Kessler, Raymond E. Goldstein

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Suspensions of motile bacteria such as Bacillus subtilus or E. coli form a dynamical state exhibiting extended spatio-temporal organization at concentrations near the maximum allowed by steric repulsion. The viscous liquid into which locomotive energy of individual microorganisms is transferred also carries interactions that drive the self-organization. The concentration dependence of collective swimming state correlation length is probed here with a novel technique (bacterial crowd control) that herds bacteria into condensed populations of adjustable concentration. For the free-standing thin-film geometry employed, the correlation length varies smoothly and monotonically through the transition from individual to collective behavior. Using insights from these experiments, we develop a specific model incorporating hydrodynamic interactions in thin-film geometries and show by numerical studies that it displays large scale persistently recurring vortices, as actually observed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTraffic and Granular Flow 2007
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9783540770732
StatePublished - 2009
Event7th International Conference on Traffic and Granular Flow, TGF 2007 - Orsay, France
Duration: Jun 20 2007Jun 22 2007

Publication series

NameTraffic and Granular Flow 2007


Other7th International Conference on Traffic and Granular Flow, TGF 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)


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