Emergent Spatial Structures in Flocking Models

We show that hydrodynamic theories of polar active matter generically possess inhomogeneous traveling solutions. We introduce a unifying dynamical-system framework to establish the shape of these nonlinear flocking patterns:  smectic phases, solitonic bands and polar liquid droplets, in line with all the experimental and numerical observations that have been reported so far [pdf].

FlockspicturePRL2014