laboratoire de physique statistique
 
 
laboratoire de physique statistique

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PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS 


107
P U B L I C A T I O N S



 
2016
Optimal Length Scale for a Turbulent Dynamo - Sadek, Mira and Alexakis, Alexandros and Fauve, Stephan
PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS 116 (2016)

Abstract : We demonstrate that there is an optimal forcing length scale for low Prandtl number dynamo flows that can significantly reduce the required energy injection rate. The investigation is based on simulations of the induction equation in a periodic box of size 2 pi L. The flows considered are the laminar and turbulent ABC flows forced at different forcing wave numbers k(f), where the turbulent case is simulated using a subgrid turbulence model. At the smallest allowed forcing wave number k(f) = k(min) = 1/L the laminar critical magnetic Reynolds number Rm(c)(lam) is more than an order of magnitude smaller than the turbulent critical magnetic Reynolds number Rm(c)(turb) due to the hindering effect of turbulent fluctuations. We show that this hindering effect is almost suppressed when the forcing wave number k(f) is increased above an optimum wave number kfL similar or equal to 4 for which Rm(c)(turb) is minimum. At this optimal wave number, Rm(c)(turb) is smaller by more than a factor of 10 than the case forced in k(f) = 1. This leads to a reduction of the energy injection rate by 3 orders of magnitude when compared to the case where the system is forced at the largest scales and thus provides a new strategy for the design of a fully turbulent experimental dynamo.
Scaling Behavior for Ionic Transport and its Fluctuations in Individual Carbon Nanotubes - Secchi, Eleonora and Nigues, Antoine and Jubin, Laetitia and Siria, Alessandro and Bocquet, Lyderic
PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS 116 (2016)

Abstract : In this Letter, we perform an experimental study of ionic transport and current fluctuations inside individual carbon nanotubes (CNTs). The conductance exhibits a power law behavior at low salinity, with an exponent close to 1/3 versus the salt concentration in this regime. This behavior is rationalized in terms of a salinity dependent surface charge, which is accounted for on the basis of a model for hydroxide adsorption at the (hydrophobic) carbon surface. This is in contrast to boron nitride nanotubes which exhibit a constant surface conductance. Further, we measure the low frequency noise of the ionic current in CNTs and show that the amplitude of the noise scales with the surface charge, with data collapsing on a master curve for the various studied CNTs at a given pH.
Velocity Condensation for Magnetotactic Bacteria - Rupprecht, Jean-Francois and Waisbord, Nicolas and Ybert, Christophe and Cottin-Bizonne, Cecile and Bocquet, Lyderic
PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS 116 (2016)

Abstract : Magnetotactic swimmers tend to align along magnetic field lines against stochastic reorientations. We show that the swimming strategy, e.g., active Brownian motion versus run-and-tumble dynamics, strongly affects the orientation statistics. The latter can exhibit a velocity condensation whereby the alignment probability density diverges. As a consequence, we find that the swimming strategy affects the nature of the phase transition to collective motion, indicating that Levy run-and-tumble walks can outperform active Brownian processes as strategies to trigger collective behavior.
Fluctuations of Electrical Conductivity: A New Source for Astrophysical Magnetic Fields - Petrelis, F. and Alexakis, A. and Gissinger, C.
PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS 116 (2016)

Abstract : We consider the generation of a magnetic field by the flow of a fluid for which the electrical conductivity is nonuniform. A new amplification mechanism is found which leads to dynamo action for flows much simpler than those considered so far. In particular, the fluctuations of the electrical conductivity provide a way to bypass antidynamo theorems. For astrophysical objects, we show through three-dimensional global numerical simulations that the temperature-driven fluctuations of the electrical conductivity can amplify an otherwise decaying large scale equatorial dipolar field. This effect could play a role for the generation of the unusually tilted magnetic field of the iced giants Neptune and Uranus.
Acoustic Measurement of Surface Wave Damping by a Meniscus - Michel, Guillaume and Petrelis, Francois and Fauve, Stephan
PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS 116 (2016)

Abstract : We investigate the reflection of gravity-capillary surface waves by a plane vertical barrier. The size of the meniscus is found to strongly affect reflection: the energy of the reflected wave with a pinned contact line is around twice the one corresponding to a fully developed meniscus. To perform these measurements, a new experimental setup similar to an acousto-optic modulator is developed and offers a simple way to measure the amplitude, frequency and direction of propagation of surface waves.
Defects at the Nanoscale Impact Contact Line Motion at all Scales - Perrin, Hugo and Lhermerout, Romain and Davitt, Kristina and Rolley, Etienne and Andreotti, Bruno
PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS 116 (2016)

Abstract : The contact angle of a liquid drop moving on a real solid surface depends on the speed and direction of motion of the three-phase contact line. Many experiments have demonstrated that pinning on surface defects, thermal activation and viscous dissipation impact contact line dynamics, but so far, efforts have failed to disentangle the role of each of these dissipation channels. Here, we propose a unifying multiscale approach that provides a single quantitative framework. We use this approach to successfully account for the dynamics measured in a classic dip-coating experiment performed over an unprecedentedly wide range of velocity. We show that the full contact line dynamics up to the liquid film entrainment threshold can be parametrized by the size, amplitude and density of nanometer-scale defects. This leads us to reinterpret the contact angle hysteresis as a dynamical crossover rather than a depinning transition.
Fate of Alpha Dynamos at Large Rm - Cameron, Alexandre and Alexakis, Alexandros
PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS 117 (2016)

Abstract : At the heart of today's solar magnetic field evolution models lies the alpha dynamo description. In this work, we investigate the fate of alpha dynamos as the magnetic Reynolds number Rm is increased. Using Floquet theory, we are able to precisely quantify mean-field effects like the alpha and beta effect (i) by rigorously distinguishing dynamo modes that involve large-scale components from the ones that only involve small scales, and by (ii) providing a way to investigate arbitrary large-scale separations with minimal computational cost. We apply this framework to helical and nonhelical flows as well as to random flows with short correlation time. Our results determine that the alpha description is valid for Rm smaller than a critical value Rm(c) at which small-scale dynamo instability starts. When Rm is above Rmc, the dynamo ceases to follow the mean-field description and the growth rate of the large-scale modes becomes independent of the scale separation, while the energy in the large-scale modes is inversely proportional to the square of the scale separation. The results in this second regime do not depend on the presence of helicity. Thus, alpha-type modeling for solar and stellar models needs to be reevaluated and new directions for mean-field modeling are proposed.
Momentum Distribution in the Unitary Bose Gas from First Principles - Comparin, Tommaso and Krauth, Werner
PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS 117 (2016)

Abstract : We consider a realistic bosonic N-particle model with unitary interactions relevant for Efimov physics. Using quantum Monte Carlo methods, we find that the critical temperature for Bose-Einstein condensation is decreased with respect to the ideal Bose gas. We also determine the full momentum distribution of the gas, including its universal asymptotic behavior, and compare this crucial observable to recent experimental data. Similar to the experiments with different atomic species, differentiated solely by a three-body length scale, our model only depends on a single parameter. We establish a weak influence of this parameter on physical observables. In current experiments, the thermodynamic instability of our model from the atomic gas towards an Efimov liquid could be masked by the dynamical instability due to three-body losses.
 
2015
Two-Dimensional Melting: From Liquid-Hexatic Coexistence to Continuous Transitions - Kapfer, Sebastian C. and Krauth, Werner
PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS 114 (2015)

Abstract : The phase diagram of two-dimensional continuous particle systems is studied using the event-chain Monte Carlo algorithm. For soft disks with repulsive power-law interactions proportional to r(-n) with n greater than or similar to 6, the recently established hard-disk melting scenario (n -> infinity) holds: a first-order liquid-hexatic and a continuous hexatic-solid transition are identified. Close to n = 6, the coexisting liquid exhibits very long orientational correlations, and positional correlations in the hexatic are extremely short. For n less than or similar to 6, the liquid-hexatic transition is continuous, with correlations consistent with the Kosterlitz-Thouless-Halperin-Nelson-Young (KTHNY) scenario. To illustrate the generality of these results, we demonstrate that Yukawa particles likewise may follow either the KTHNYor the hard-disk melting scenario, depending on the Debye-Huckel screening length as well as on the temperature.
DOI
10
Dynamical Criticality in the Collective Activity of a Population of Retinal Neurons - Mora, Thierry and Deny, Stephane and Marre, Olivier
PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS 114 (2015)

Abstract : Recent experimental results based on multielectrode and imaging techniques have reinvigorated the idea that large neural networks operate near a critical point, between order and disorder. However, evidence for criticality has relied on the definition of arbitrary order parameters, or on models that do not address the dynamical nature of network activity. Here we introduce a novel approach to assess criticality that overcomes these limitations, while encompassing and generalizing previous criteria. We find a simple model to describe the global activity of large populations of ganglion cells in the rat retina, and show that their statistics are poised near a critical point. Taking into account the temporal dynamics of the activity greatly enhances the evidence for criticality, revealing it where previous methods would not. The approach is general and could be used in other biological networks.
DOI
11
Effects of Fermion Exchange on the Polarization of Exciton Condensates - Combescot, Monique and Combescot, Roland and Alloing, Mathieu and Dubin, Francois
PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS 114 (2015)

Abstract : Exchange interaction is responsible for the stability of elementary boson condensates with respect to momentum fragmentation. This remains true for composite bosons when single fermion exchanges are included but spin degrees of freedom are ignored. Here, we show that their inclusion can produce a spin fragmentation of the dark exciton condensate, i.e., an unpolarized condensate with an equal amount of spin (+2) and (-2) excitons not coupled to light. The composite boson many-body formalism allows us to predict that, for spatially indirect excitons, the condensate polarization switches from unpolarized to fully polarized when the distance between the layers confining electrons and holes increases. Importantly, the threshold distance for this switch lies in a regime fully accessible to experiments.
DOI
12
Helium Mass Flow Through a Solid-Superfluid-Solid Junction - Cheng, Zhi Gang and Beamish, John and Fefferman, Andrew D. and Souris, Fabien and Balibar, Sebastien and Dauvois, Vincent
PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS 114 (2015)

Abstract : We report the results of flow experiments in which two chambers containing solid He-4 are connected by a superfluid Vycor channel. At low temperatures and pressures, mechanically squeezing the solid in one chamber produced a pressure increase in the second chamber, a measure of mass transport through our solid-superfluid-solid junction. This pressure response is very similar to the flow seen in recent experiments at the University of Massachusetts: it began around 600 mK, increased as the temperature was reduced, then decreased dramatically at a temperature, T-d, which depended on the He-3 impurity concentration. Our experiments indicate that the flow is limited by mass transfer across the solid-liquid interface near the Vycor ends, where the He-3 collects at low temperature, rather than by flow paths within the solid He-4.
DOI
13
Physical Limit to Concentration Sensing Amid Spurious Ligands - Mora, Thierry
PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS 115 (2015)

Abstract : To adapt their behavior in changing environments, cells sense concentrations by binding external ligands to their receptors. However, incorrect ligands may bind nonspecifically to receptors, and when their concentration is large, this binding activity may interfere with the sensing of the ligand of interest. Here, I derive analytically the physical limit to the accuracy of concentration sensing amid a large number of interfering ligands. A scaling transition is found when the mean bound time of correct ligands is twice that of incorrect ligands. I discuss how the physical bound can be approached by a cascade of receptor states generalizing kinetic proofreading schemes.
DOI
14
Popping Balloons: A Case Study of Dynamical Fragmentation - Moulinet, Sebastien and Adda-Bedia, Mokhtar
PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS 115 (2015)

Abstract : Understanding the physics of fragmentation is important in a wide range of industrial and geophysical applications. Fragmentation processes involve large strain rates and short time scales that take place during crack nucleation and propagation. Using rubber membranes, we develop an experimental analysis that enables us to track the fragmentation process in situ in both time and space. We find that bursting a highly stretched membrane yields a treelike fragmentation network that originates at a single seed crack, followed by successive crack tip-splitting events. We show that a dynamic instability drives this branching mechanism. Fragmentation occurs when the crack tip speed attains a critical velocity for which tip splitting becomes the sole available mechanism of releasing the stored elastic energy. Given the general character of the fragmentation processes, this framework should be applicable to other crack networks in brittle materials.
DOI
15
Statistical Equilibria of Large Scales in Dissipative Hydrodynamic Turbulence - Dallas, V. and Fauve, S. and Alexakis, A.
PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS 115 (2015)

Abstract : We present a numerical study of the statistical properties of three-dimensional dissipative turbulent flows at scales larger than the forcing scale. Our results indicate that the large scale flow can be described to a large degree by the truncated Euler equations with the predictions of the zero flux solutions given by absolute equilibrium theory, both for helical and nonhelical flows. Thus, the functional shape of the large scale spectra can be predicted provided that scales sufficiently larger than the forcing length scale but also sufficiently smaller than the box size are examined. Deviations from the predictions of absolute equilibrium are discussed.
DOI
16
Generic Bistability in Creased Conical Surfaces - Lechenault, F. and Adda-Bedia, M.
PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS 115 (2015)

Abstract : The emerging field of mechanical metamaterials has sought inspiration in the ancient art of origami as archetypal deployable structures that carry geometric rigidity, exhibit exotic material properties, and are potentially scalable. A promising venue to introduce functionality consists in coupling the elasticity of the sheet and the kinematics of the folds. In this spirit, we introduce a scale-free, analytical description of a very general class of snap-through, bistable patterns of creases naturally occurring at the vertices of real origami that can be used as building blocks to program and actuate the overall shape of the decorated sheet. These switches appear at the simplest possible level of creasing and admit straightforward experimental realizations.
 
2014
DOI
17
Stochastic Ratchet Mechanisms for Replacement of Proteins Bound to DNA - Cocco, S. and Marko, J. F. and Monasson, R.
PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS 112 (2014)

Abstract : Experiments indicate that unbinding rates of proteins from DNA can depend on the concentration of proteins in nearby solution. Here we present a theory of multistep replacement of DNA-bound proteins by solution-phase proteins. For four different kinetic scenarios we calculate the dependence of protein unbinding and replacement rates on solution protein concentration. We find (1) strong effects of progressive ``rezipping'' of the solution-phase protein onto DNA sites liberated by ``unzipping'' of the originally bound protein, (2) that a model in which solution-phase proteins bind nonspecifically to DNA can describe experiments on exchanges between the nonspecific DNA-binding proteins Fis-Fis and Fis-HU, and (3) that a binding specific model describes experiments on the exchange of CueR proteins on specific binding sites.
DOI
18
Mechanical Response of a Creased Sheet - Lechenault, F. and Thiria, B. and Adda-Bedia, M.
PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS 112 (2014)

Abstract : We investigate the mechanics of thin sheets decorated by noninteracting creases. The system considered here consists of parallel folds connected by elastic panels. We show that the mechanical response of the creased structure is twofold, depending both on the bending deformation of the panels and the hingelike intrinsic response of the crease. We show that a characteristic length scale, defined by the ratio of bending to hinge energies, governs whether the structure's response consists in angle opening or panel bending when a small load is applied. The existence of this length scale is a building block for future works on origami mechanics.
DOI
19
Thermodynamics of Statistical Inference by Cells - Lang, Alex H. and Fisher, Charles K. and Mora, Thierry and Mehta, Pankaj
PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS 113 (2014)

Abstract : The deep connection between thermodynamics, computation, and information is now well established both theoretically and experimentally. Here, we extend these ideas to show that thermodynamics also places fundamental constraints on statistical estimation and learning. To do so, we investigate the constraints placed by (nonequilibrium) thermodynamics on the ability of biochemical signaling networks to estimate the concentration of an external signal. We show that accuracy is limited by energy consumption, suggesting that there are fundamental thermodynamic constraints on statistical inference.
DOI
20
Momentum Distribution of a Dilute Unitary Bose Gas with Three-Body Losses - Laurent, Sebastien and Leyronas, Xavier and Chevy, Frederic
PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS 113 (2014)

Abstract : Using a combination of Boltzmann's equation and virial expansion, we study the effect of three-body losses and interactions on the momentum distribution of a homogeneous unitary Bose gas in the dilute limit where quantum correlations are negligible. The comparison of our results to the recent measurement made at JILA on a unitary gas of Rb-85 allows us to determine an experimental fugacity z = 0.5(1).