Spiral diffusion of rotating self-propellers with stochastic perturbation

Amir Nourhani, Stephen J. Ebbens, John G. Gibbs, Paul E. Lammert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Translationally diffusive behavior arising from the combination of orientational diffusion and powered motion at microscopic scales is a known phenomenon, but the peculiarities of the evolution of expected position conditioned on initial position and orientation have been neglected. A theory is given of the spiral motion of the mean trajectory depending upon propulsion speed, angular velocity, orientational diffusion, and rate of random chirality reversal. We demonstrate the experimental accessibility of this effect using both tadpole-like and Janus sphere dimer rotating motors. Sensitivity of the mean trajectory to the kinematic parameters suggest that it may be a useful way to determine those parameters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number030601
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 13 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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