Strong clustering of non-interacting, sliding passive scalars driven by fluctuating surfaces

Apoorva Nagar 1, Satya N. Majumdar 2, Mustansir Barma 1

Physical Review E: Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics 74 (2006) 021124

We study the clustering of passive, non-interacting particles moving under the influence of a fluctuating field and random noise, in one dimension. The fluctuating field in our case is provided by a surface governed by the Kardar-Parisi-Zhang (KPZ) equation and the sliding particles follow the local surface slope. As the KPZ equation can be mapped to the noisy Burgers equation, the problem translates to that of passive scalars in a Burgers fluid. We study the case of particles moving in the same direction as the surface, equivalent to advection in fluid language. Monte-Carlo simulations on a discrete lattice model reveal extreme clustering of the passive particles. The resulting Strong Clustering State is defined using the scaling properties of the two point density-density correlation function. Our simulations show that the state is robust against changing the ratio of update speeds of the surface and particles. In the equilibrium limit of a stationary surface and finite noise, one obtains the Sinai model for random walkers on a random landscape. In this limit, we obtain analytic results which allow closed form expressions to be found for the quantities of interest. Surprisingly, these results for the equilibrium problem show good agreement with the results in the non-equilibrium regime.

  • 1. Department of Theoretical Physics,
    Tata institute of Fundamental Research
  • 2. Laboratoire de Physique Théorique et Modèles Statistiques (LPTMS),
    CNRS : UMR8626 – Université Paris XI - Paris Sud