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Journal Articles Physical Review E : Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics Year : 2015

Turbulence of swarming sperm


Collective motion of self-sustained swarming flows has recently provided examples of small-scale turbulence arising where viscous effects are dominant. We report the first observation of universal enstrophy cascade in concentrated swarming sperm consistent with a body of evidence built from various independent measurements. We found a well-defined k−3 power-law decay of a velocity field power spectrum and relative dispersion of small beads consistent with theoretical predictions in 2D turbulence. Concentrated living sperm displays long-range, correlated whirlpool structures of a size that provides an integral scale of turbulence. We propose a consistent explanation for this quasi-2D turbulence based on self-structured laminated flow forced by steric interactions and alignment, a state of active matter that we call “swarming liquid crystal.” We develop scaling arguments consistent with this interpretation.
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hal-01308046 , version 1 (27-04-2016)



Adama Kpatagnon Creppy, Olivier Praud, Xavier Druart, Philippa L. Kohnke, Franck Plouraboué. Turbulence of swarming sperm. Physical Review E : Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics, 2015, 92 (3), pp.032722. ⟨10.1103/PhysRevE.92.032722⟩. ⟨hal-01308046⟩
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