Transport of flexible chiral objects in a uniform shear flow

P. Talkner, G.-L. Ingold, and P. Hänggi

New J. Phys. 14, 073006 (2012)

The transport of slightly deformable chiral objects in a uniform shear flow is investigated. Depending on the equilibrium configuration one finds up to four different asymptotic states that can be distinguished by a lateral drift velocity of their center of mass, a rotational motion about the center of mass and deformations of the object. These deformations influence the magnitudes of the principal axes of the second moment tensor of the considered object and also modify a scalar index characterizing its chirality. Moreover, the deformations induced by the shear flow are essential for the phenomenon of dynamical symmetry breaking: Objects that are achiral under equilibrium conditions may dynamically acquire chirality and consequently experience a drift in the lateral direction.