by Gabe Redner
A recent article in Physics, the APS online magazine, highlights recent work done in the Hagan lab. Active particles such as swimming bacteria are of interest to physicists due to their nonequilibrium nature; since each particle is constantly burning energy as it swims, the system is driven to produce behaviors such as flocking and swarming that are not seen in traditional fluids. To understand these systems, theorists have developed highly simplified models to isolate the most fundamental active behaviors and study them in detail. This article rounds up several recent advances in the field from the Hagan lab and others.