Active fluids and gels
This chapter outlines the general hydrodynamic theory of active polar fluids and gels. It starts from a fluid in thermal equilibrium and uses concepts from nonequilibrium thermodynamics to arrive at hydrodynamic equations. It focuses on slow or hydrodynamic variables in the system, and identifies conjugate thermodynamic fluxes and forces. In linear response theory, the fluxes can be expressed using dissipative and reactive coupling coefficients. Together with conservation laws, the full hydrodynamic equations can be written. The chapter discusses simple situations to illustrate the novel physics that emerges in such systems. It concludes with a brief discussion of biological examples for which such approaches are relevant.
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