Generalized thermodynamics of motility-induced phase separation: Phase equilibria, Laplace pressure, and change of ensembles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Motility-induced phase separation leads to cohesive active matter in the absence of cohesive forces. We present, extend and illustrate a recent generalized thermodynamic formalism which accounts for its binodal curve. Using this formalism, we identify both a generalized surface tension, that controls finite-size corrections to coexisting densities, and generalized forces, that can be used to construct new thermodynamic ensembles. Our framework is based on a non-equilibrium generalization of the Cahn-Hilliard equation and we discuss its application to active particles interacting either via quorum-sensing interactions or directly through pairwise forces.


External organisations
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • University of Cambridge
  • Technion - Israel Institute of Technology
  • Paris Diderot University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Condensed Matter Physics


  • active matter, motility-induced phase separation, non-equilibrium statistical mechanics
Original languageEnglish
Article number075001
JournalNew Journal of Physics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jul 1
Publication categoryResearch