Morozov, Alexander. (2017). The role of correlations in the collective behaviour of microswimmer suspensions, [dataset]. University of Edinburgh. School of Physics and Astronomy. http://dx.doi.org/10.7488/ds/1703.
In this work, we study the collective behaviour of a large number of self-propelled microswimmers immersed in a fluid. Using unprecedently large-scale lattice Boltzmann simulations, we reproduce the transition to bacterial turbulence. We show that, even well below the transition, swimmers move in a correlated fashion that cannot be described by a mean-field approach. We develop a novel kinetic theory that captures these correlations and is non-perturbative in the swimmer density. To provide an experimentally accessible measure of correlations, we calculate the diffusivity of passive tracers and reveal its non-trivial density dependence. The theory is in quantitative agreement with the lattice Boltzmann simulations and captures the asymmetry between pusher and puller swimmers below the transition to turbulence.