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Calorimetry for active systems

Pritha Dolai, Christian Maes, Karel Netočný

SciPost Phys. 14, 126 (2023) · published 24 May 2023


We provide the theoretical basis of calorimetry for a class of active particles subject to thermal noise. Simulating AC-calorimetry, we numerically evaluate the heat capacity of run-and-tumble particles in double-well and in periodic potentials, and of systems with a flashing potential. Low-temperature Schottky-like peaks show the role of activity and indicate shape transitions, while regimes of negative heat capacity appear at higher propulsion speeds. From there, a significant increase in heat capacities of active systems may be inferred at low temperatures, as well as the possibility of diagnostic tools for the activity of self-motile artificial or biomimetic systems based on heat capacity measurements.

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